The Diocese of Truro will receive £137,000 as part of the Church of England’s £11 million Buildings for Mission fund to enable it to make grants to churches for repairs. A further £104,000 has been awarded to provide a specialist buildings advisor for two years.

The Church Buildings Support Officer, one of 30 across the country, will assist parishes by providing specialist advice on the management, conservation, repair, and development of church buildings, including community use alongside worship.

The Church Buildings Support Officer will work alongside parishes and deaneries, helping them to devise and progress plans to sustain and develop their church buildings. This has a focus on practical advice, fundraising, and project implementation support.

The diocese will use the £137,000 on grants to churches for small-scale, urgent works and ‘stitch in time’ projects that could save larger sums in the long term. The fund will also be able to help cover the cost of essential improvements for the mission and ministry of a church.

Kate Cortez, Head of Operations for the diocese, said: “Through the deanery planning process and in our ongoing conversations with people in parishes, we have heard how the much-loved churches in our dioceses also cause anxiety. The time taken up in caring for them and in finding the funding to do so is significant.

“We are delighted that our successful funding application means that we can offer a Church Buildings Support Officer, for the next two years, and targeted small grants to help parishes with this. It’s a small step but we also hope we will learn from it to work out how best we can tailor support for as many churches as possible. Once the programme is up and running, we will contact all parishes to let them know more.”

Emily Gee, Director for Cathedrals and Church Buildings for the Church of England, said: “Buildings for Mission will help to fund the repair and improvement of church buildings through the dioceses, as well as to boost professional advice and grant money for rural and urban church buildings most in need.
“Churches are wonderfully supported, year in year out, by volunteers who give their time and financial support so generously. This funding will help foster robust and flourishing congregations and release resources, energy and potential for mission and outreach.”

The Bishop of Ramsbury, Andrew Rumsey, joint lead bishop for Church Buildings, said: “Our churches and cathedrals are invaluable signs of our Christian presence and heritage. It is essential that we protect and sustain them as centres for worship and community service.

“This programme aims to reduce the burden of buildings management on parishes and dioceses – through better support arrangements and technical systems, as well as providing funding for minor repairs and project development.

“With more church buildings officers in dioceses, I believe we can help parishes to apply for external funding, plan buildings projects and see more churches flourish as houses of hope and holiness.”