National Churches Trust: Northern Ireland Community Grants: Committee Members – Volunteer positions

Three meetings per year in Belfast

Are you inspired by church architecture? Are you fascinated by the history of churches and want them to remain part of our heritage and a vital part of community life? Are you experienced in assessing funding applications and supporting historic buildings to be well maintained and sustainable? And are you passionate about all these things within a Northern Ireland context?

As the independent, UK-wide charity supporting churches, chapels and meeting houses of all Christian denominations, the National Churches Trust supports and promotes church buildings of historic, architectural and community value by inspiring support, preserving heritage and promoting sustainability. We aim to help maintain the UK’s heritage of church buildings and to enhance their ability to serve local communities; to promote the benefit to communities of church buildings and to inspire everyone to value and enjoy them. Grant funding is at the heart of our work. The Trust allocates in the region of £1.4m across its grants programmes annually. We also promote church tourism – ExploreChurches, and maintenance – MaintenanceBooker.

The National Churches Trust is about to launch a new project, “Treasure Ireland”, which will encourage and support improvements in the maintenance and sustainability of historic places of worship in Northern Ireland. This project has been made possible by grants recently awarded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, The Pilgrim Trust and the Department for Communities and at its core there will be a grants programme for proactive repairs and maintenance. It will also provide training and mentoring support, video guides and training on writing funding bids, church maintenance, interpretation and tourism. A further aim is to increase the number of visitors to churches in Northern Ireland.

As part of this three-year project, the National Churches Trust is setting up a separate Northern Ireland Community Grants Committee which will have responsibility for allocating £180,000 towards proactive maintenance and small repairs projects. The Committee will be made up of 6 to 8 members who will meet in Belfast three times a year to make the final decisions on the recommendations of the Church Support Officer. In addition, members may be approached via email between meetings, for input and to approve the smallest grants. The positions are unpaid but we will pay travel expenses as necessary.

The membership of the Committee will be drawn from a range of backgrounds, experiences and denominations, and include a National Churches Trust Grants Committee member, a conservation accredited architect or surveyor, heritage professionals, those with project management experience and those with experience engaging the public with church heritage. Members will be asked to consider shortlisted applications contributing their experience to ensure that the cases most deserving of the project’s funds, and most in line with the Trust’s aims and goals, are successful.

Members will be appointed for up to three years – the duration of the funded project. Members may on occasion be asked to attend opening services or to make post-award monitoring visits, and will be invited to take part in a steering group and places of worship forum for the project.

More information about the Trust’s work can be found at www.nationalchurchestrust.org and information about our work in Northern Ireland can be found here: https://www.nationalchurchestrust.org/working-local-churches-trusts/helping-churches-northern-ireland

To apply, please complete the application form which can be downloaded from our website here and return it to Rosalinde.Debest@nationalchurchestrust.org

Closing date: Noon 12 August 2020
Interview date: 18 & 20 August 2020 (Belfast or online)

The Treasure Ireland Project has been made possible through the generosity of the following:

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