Diocese of Portsmouth

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Diocese to be part of national survey mapping memorials and graves

The National Burial Ground Survey Project was announced by the Church of England in September 2021. Portsmouth diocese has now signed up for this and surveyors from AG Intl Ltd will shortly start surveying our churchyards and photographing all visible memorials. Alongside the onsite mapping, the project will create a digital index of all burials, marriages, and baptisms. Once completed, this information will all be available on the Church Heritage Record, which individuals and churches will have access to and provide a valuable resource.

This project is free of charge to parishes and should involve minimal input. However, in order to do this each individual parish will need to give consent. We encourage parishes to take part in this and will shortly be contacting all parishes regarding consent. Webinars for parishes, to explain the process, will take place as this project is launched in this area. Click here to read more about this project.

Grants available to parishes for 2024 and 2025 for building repairs, improvements, and net zero quick wins

The national Church of England has set aside funding for repairs and maintenance to churches and also for small net zero projects.

Building Repair and Improvement Grants and Net Zero Quick Wins Grant

The building grants and quick wins grants are allocated to 41 dioceses. They enable dioceses to offer grants for small-scale up to £10,000 total project cost for urgent works that could save larger sums in the long-term or quick win net zero solutions. Our diocese will be distributing a share of these fund – we have around £100,000 ( MR & I) and £40,000 (NZC) to allocate over the next two years.

The Minor Repairs and Improvements Grants Fund’ can help pay for:

  1. minor repairs that are urgent and necessary to the building according to eligibility (identified in a quinquennial inspection or similar more recent report);
  2. other works and costs, probably including small-scale improvements and professional fees, for options appraisals, feasibility studies and other project development work.

Grants will need to be targeted at areas of need and according to the urgency of the work and its ability to help churches remain open and sustainable.

Net Zero Carbon (NZC) – ‘Quick Wins’ can help pay for:

  1. Work aligned with the Church of England ‘Practical Path to NZC for Churches’ tool:
  2. Improving electric connections, to enable electric heating;
  3. Work that enables parishes to respond to temporary heating solutions or (ideally) plan ahead and improve their heating resilience.

Applying for a grant:

Parishes can submit applications for grants (same application for both grants), and an internal panel will decide which bids should be approved. The next grant application round will take place from now until June 28th at 5pm and a decision will be made in July. Work cannot start until funding is confirmed.

For a conversation about your proposed work, or for an application form for work please email our DAC secretary here. Dates for further funding rounds will follow.

New LPWGS online application

The Listed Places of Worship Grant Scheme has a new website and application portal.

  • The new website makes it easier to navigate and find the information. The website sits on the gov.uk domain, providing reassurance this is an official and trusted website.
  • The new application portal will enable applicants to apply online. The option to use the old PDF will remain, but the application portal will have all the information and attachments uploaded and submitted in one place.

There are no changes to the grant criteria.

If you receive a grant from this scheme we encourage you to write to your MP, thank them for the grant and invite them to the church to see the completed works.

Building Improvement Grants now open for applications

Benefact Trust (previously AllChurches Trust) has just launched its Building Improvement Grants programme to help protect and enhance churches and Christian buildings, ensuring their continued use for generations to come. The programme will support capital costs such as essential repairs and improvements, conservation and restoration, and energy efficiency measures. Click on link here for more info.

Practical suggestions to save money and energy

At a recent DAC Conference, colleagues started a crowd-sourced note of practical suggestions to save parishes energy and money with the winter heating season fast upon us. You can download this document here. Please let our DAC team know of any suggestions for further tips to add.

Changes to faculty rules from 1st July 2022

The national Church of England has changed some of the faculty rules to encourage churches to make changes that would help in our drive to become carbon net zero by 2030. You can read more about those changes here.

Energy audits

Much of the challenge regarding turning our church buildings carbon-neutral revolves around our heating systems and the way we use energy to heat and light those buildings. We’ve asked the University of Portsmouth to do some energy audits on four specific churches, to give us an idea of what is involved in older and newer buildings, urban and rural settings, and with larger and smaller congregations. Why not download the audit from the church that is the most similar to yours and see what they say?

Extension of LPOW

The government has formally confirmed the extension of the Listed Places of Worship Grant Scheme (LPWGS) until March 2025.

Central contents register

Please find below the links for the Central Contents Register.

If you are not aware of what this is, Church Commissioners produce a list every quarter of ecclesiastical items that are in need of relocation i.e. pews, fonts etc. There is also a list of items that parishes are looking out for.

Remember to inform Vivienne Chick (details on the covering letter below) if you want to add or remove an item from the list.

Covering letter (July 2023) DFOs (July 2023)
Suppliers (July 2023) Disclaimer (July 2023)
Items wanted (July 2023) Items for sale (July 2023)
GDPR Statement (July 2023)

Maintenance Booker

Maintenance Booker postcardThis is an online service from National Churches Trust, which helps parishes find maintenance services through accredited and experienced contractors.

Services currently available include gutter clearance, lightning protection system inspections, tree surveys and surgery and asbestos maintenance.

Please click here for further details.

New guidance on metal roof covering

Historic England has updated its online guidance on thefts of roofs and published new technical guidance on terne-coated stainless steel.

When lead or copper roof coverings have been stolen, Historic England understands it may be too risky to replace with the same materials. It has found that the most appropriate and long-lasting alternative is terne-coated stainless steel; although for some buildings zinc, slates or tiles may be options. A good specification and experienced contractors are key to ensuring the performance of the replacement roof covering. HE has now published technical guidance about using terne-coated stainless steel for church roofs to address commonly raised questions.

Grants for roof alarms

Grants of £1,000 are available to churches for roof alarms from Allchurches Trust. This has been provided to county historic churches trusts and dioceses on the basis of a £1,000 grant per church. To see if you are in an eligible area visit the National Churches Trust website.

Download this leaflet regarding Allchurches Trust’s Roof Protection Scheme

Contact us

If you have any questions, or any practical information which you think might help other parishes with DAC work or church maintenance please email: dac@portsmouth.anglican.org