Sign up to the Faith in Maintenance e-bulletin service here.

News

Current News

Save the Listed Places of Worship Grant Scheme campaign.

Date

19 March 2010

Volunteers who look after listed places of worship may be aware that the Listed Places of Worship Grant Scheme is due to end in March 2011. 

The scheme enables listed places of worship to claim back 100% of VAT incurred on repairs and maintenance to the building, professional fees and repair works to fixtures such as bells and organs.  This Scheme has provided great relief to places of worship faced with raising enormous sums for maintenance and repair, and has enabled those who look after these valuable heritage and community buildings to maintain them for future generations.

Over £102 million has been paid out to places of worship across the United Kingdom since 2001 through the Scheme, of which about 93% has gone to Church of England churches.

This grant Scheme was introduced by Gordon Brown, when Chancellor of the Exchequer, in April 2001 as an interim measure while the European Union was holding a review of the Directive covering VAT rates.  Although a reduced VAT rate has not yet been agreed with Europe, the Scheme is due to come to an end in March 2011, along with the Memorial Grant Scheme.

Along with others, the Cathedral and Church Buildings Division of the Church of England has started a campaign to get the scheme extended - a summary of what has happened so far is set out below. 

1. There was a Synod Debate on Thursday 11th February which called upon the Government to give an early commitment to continuing beyond March 2011 the Listed Places of Worship Grant Scheme. To read the full debate go to http://www.cofe.anglican.org/about/gensynod/agendas/feb2010/index.html . A letter is now being sent to Government.

2. There is now a sample campaign letter on the Churchcare website. The Division is encouraging as many people as possible to send the letter to their MP. Access the letter at http://www.churchcare.co.uk/news.php

3. There is also a Downing Street Petition which is available at http://petitions.number10.gov.uk/VAT-refundscheme/ . The deadline is 29th August 2010. The Water Charging petition did extremely well and ended up in the top 3 in terms of numbers of signatures during its last months.  It is hoped that this petition will draw similar levels of support.

< Back