The IHBC’s North West (NW) Branch upcoming conference, on ‘The Work of Faith – in Liverpool on 18 October – focuses on ‘the many challenges faced by historic places of worship’, inspired by the start of the Taylor Review pilot in the North West.
Kate Kendall, IHBC NW Branch member, writes:
The Taylor Review was commissioned in April 2016, reporting to the Chancellor and Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, and examined the funding and sustainability of listed Church of England buildings, to ensure that they are conserved for future generations. The review has now launched a pilot scheme that will focus on Greater Manchester and Suffolk, respectively urban and rural.
Following from the report, the Greater Manchester pilot focusses on achieving sustainability in a critical heritage resource for the region, not least in light of the area’s central role the Northern Powerhouse of the future.
So it’s very timely that the NW Branch of the IHBC is running their annual conference on ‘The Work of Faith’ at the beginning of the pilot, with the programme examining the many challenges faced by our historic places of worship.’
Diana Evans, Head of Places of Worship at Historic England said: ‘I’m really excited that the IHBC is devoting a whole day to places of worship. If these striking buildings are to continue to enhance physical, emotional and community landscapes it’s vital that IHBC members and other heritage experts offer their skills and knowledge to support the commitment of the volunteers who care for them.’
‘Together we can think more creatively about using places of worship to meet the needs of their neighbourhoods and enhance pride in local places. It’s going to be a day to expand our horizons!’
Karen Heverin, the newly appointed Fabric Support Officer, said: ‘Managing the sustainability of listed places of worship through consideration of their maintenance challenges, and understanding how they can be developed to contribute fully to the needs of local communities, are both areas which we are focussing on as part of the Taylor Review Pilot.’
‘The IHBC NW conference is perfectly timed and relevant to inform the discussion which I am having daily on the best way to secure the future of these wonderful, but challenging centres of our neighbourhoods.’
‘I am looking forward to hearing the viewpoints of the many speakers and joining in the debate.’
Mark Pearce, architect and former president and Presidents’ Award organiser for the Ecclesiastical Architects and Surveyors Association said: ‘This event will allow an early insight into the shortlisted entries for this year’s Presidents’ Award run by the National Churches Trust and EASA as well as an opportunity to explore how churches are responding to the Taylor Review through exemplary previous Award entries.’
Background to the Pilot
The Taylor Review Pilot launched in Manchester on the 3rd September. The review on the sustainability of English Churches and Cathedrals was undertaken in 2016 and has now launched the pilot scheme which will focus on Greater Manchester and Suffolk, respectively urban and rural.
Speaking before the event, Heritage Minister Michael Ellis said: “Historic faith buildings are a key part of our rich heritage and it is important they are protected. Every year thousands of volunteers dedicate a huge amount of time to their upkeep, but many need high levels of maintenance and repair. Through these pilots in Manchester and Suffolk, we will unlock the wider community potential of listed places of worship and provide practical guidance to help preserve these much-loved buildings.”
The £1.8m pilot will run until 2020 and be lead by a Fabric Support Office and a Community Development Adviser in each of the two areas. The pilot will be open to all faith groups who operate from a listed building. A small grant fund will be made available to those who meet the eligibility criteria.
The IHBC’s NW Branch conference will be held in Liverpool on 18 October.
For further details about the conference including programme and all important booking please go to: worship.ihbc.org.uk
For more background on the conference see the IHBC NewsBlog
For more background on the pilot see Historic England’s website