Billy Kennedy on Churches: Congregations invited to seek aid from trust

St Andrew’s parish church, Killyman, Dungannon, Co Tyrone. Picture: Billy MaxwellSt Andrew’s parish church, Killyman, Dungannon, Co Tyrone. Picture: Billy Maxwell
St Andrew’s parish church, Killyman, Dungannon, Co Tyrone. Picture: Billy Maxwell
The Churches Trust in Northern Ireland has reminded congregations of a new ‘Treasure Ireland’ project that provides a new community grant funding programme.

The project offers a church or chapel from the various denominations funding of between £500 and £10,000 for church maintenance building or urgent repair work.

The deadline for applications is January 24, 2022 with a decision taken for applications by March 31, 2022.

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The Trust will consider applications from listed and unlisted Christian places of worship, of any denomination, that are located in Northern Ireland.

To be eligible to apply churches must satisfy the following criteria:

- The applicant must have 50 per cent of the funds required at the point of application.

- Work must not have started.

- Any necessary planning permissions must be in place.

- The work must have been out to tender or there must be at least two quotations in place.

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- Work must be to the main church building or an attached hall.

- The church building must have been constructed as a place of worship at least 30 years ago.

- Places of worship must be open for at least 100 days per year.

The Churches Trust describes itself as a charity for people who love church buildings.

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The Trust’s work is dedicated to supporting places of worship of historic, architectural and community value used by Christian denominations throughout the United Kingdom.

The Trust, which operates in different regions across the UK, says Northern Ireland has an amazingly rich heritage of church and chapel buildings. This includes 895 listed places of worship, with 45 churches and chapels listed as Grade A buildings of the highest heritage significance.

“We want more people to appreciate their architecture and history and ‘Treasure Ireland’ will help put churches and chapels on the tourist map,” says the Trust policy web.

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