HRBA’s monthly series from ‘our Roving Reporter’
The 8th in our series of short blogs where ‘our reporter’ describes a new idea or successful initiative being implemented in a historic religious building should now be up on our website. You can read it here
The idea is to inspire and get people thinking about they might be able to do. So please feel free to share more widely, but please share the link rather than copy the article. We want people to visit the HRBA website and see what else we do!
The Big Update now taking place on 10th March 2021
Due to the current and ongoing pandemic, HRBA have made the decision to postpone this year’s Big Update until 10th March 2021. It will follow the usual format of 8 presenters giving 20-minute talks on a wide range of topical and inspirational subjects.
Whilst staging events in cathedrals and churches is still proving difficult, many have turned to virtual events instead. The National Churches Trust, have started to list events once again on our website, so that you can support some of the lectures, talks, plays and concerts that are taking place in the UK's church buildings.
The 2020 B’nai B’rith UK Jewish Heritage Days: 1st September – 31st December
The theme for 2020 is Jewish Journeys 
One event is ‘Finding Feibusch’: an illustrated talk on Hans Feibusch and his forgotten murals in churches all over London and the South East by Emma Rose Barber.
Live at St John’s Waterloo, London SE1, in front of two Feibusch murals and online. 3pm, Sunday 15th November 2020
For full list of events in the 2020 Jewish Heritage Days
Future for Religious Heritage Webinar: the Challenges and Opportunities of Covid-19 for the religious heritage sector
via zoom at 10:00 AM on Thursday, 22nd October 2020
Corona advice page on HRBA website
The Historic Religious Buildings Alliance continues to update its Coronavirus advice page on ITS website where all the latest Covid-19 information which is relevant for places of worship is collated. Here you will find updates on the latest guidance from the majority of denominations and from Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
This also signposts to the Government published advice for the safe use of multi-purpose community facilities, including village halls. 

The Church of England and ChurchCare
The Church of England’s Coronavirus pages are being continually updated (the advice will be useful for all denominations). This includes Historic England’s and the Church Buildings Council’s guidance on cleaning and disinfecting historic surfaces.

The Arthur Rank Centre
Continues to update Together Apart: a rural church response to coronavirus: a resource hub for rural churches. This provides practical resources for rural Christians and churches to use in their own homes, churches and communities.
Resources from ExploreChurches and the National Churches Trust
ExploreChurches have created a detailed page on the NCT website. It contains links to all current advice and support, and is updated weekly on reopening and ideas for engaging with your visitors and community
Essential tourism information (in English and Welsh) can be found here
They have also developed a set of FREE downloadable resources for you to use. They include posters, seat and hand washing / sanitising notices, prayer station notices etc
has also been collating all the advice and guidance being released in relation to Covid-19, in particular those of relevance to faith organisations and communities. This is continually being updated
Ecclesiastical Insurance
has a web page which covers all their advice relating to COVID-19. This includes useful guidelines on how to look after your church building whilst it is temporarily closed or unoccupied.

The Heritage Alliance: Coronavirus Guidance for the Sector
The Heritage Alliance have created a live Coronavirus Guidance Hub which is being continually updated with the latest guidance and advice on mitigating the effects of Coronavirus for organisations across the Heritage sector. This includes guidance on opening up heritage sites.
Inclusive Practice in Heritage Post-lockdown
The Disability Collaborative Network (DCN), in partnership with EMBED, has been working to support disabled and neurodivergent visitors and customers in the post-lockdown society.  They have collaborated with University of East Anglia to create the Reopening Recommendations Support Service, which offers guidance for all sectors and supports all museums and heritage organisations in offering practical, action-based recommendations.
Allchurches Trust launches new grant programme, Hope Beyond.
aimed at enabling churches and Christian charities to meet changing need within their communities as the longer-term impact of Covid-19 becomes clearer.
The National Lottery Community Fund
National Lottery Awards for All offers funding from £300 to £10,000 to support what matters to people and communities. They're looking to fund COVID-19 projects and will prioritise: organisations supporting people who are at high risk from COVID-19. Places of worship are eligible.

Ecclesiastical Insurance fundraising hub
This resource is aimed at supporting churches, particularly when COVID-19 is bringing additional fundraising challenges.  There is also a helpline (03456 019959) for parishes to request a call-back for any specific queries and these will be directed to the respective Church Insurance Consultant for the diocese. and here
The Heritage Alliance’s Funding Hub
The Heritage Alliance has created a separate Funding Hub listing potential sources of funding for heritage organisations during the Coronavirus crisis.
Coronavirus Response – Funding Opportunities for Charities
National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) have compiled a list of funding opportunities and news relating to coronavirus.

Free searchable database of Coronavirus funders
The Charity Excellence website has a new, free database of funders supporting charities during the crisis.
Autumn Comprehensive Spending Review
On 21st July, the Government launched the Autumn Comprehensive Spending Review with submissions invited until the end of September. This Review will lead to a three-year financial settlement across all government departments, coming into effect in April 2021.  HRBA is co-operating with the Church Buildings Council and others in writing a co-ordinated submission to the Government. Priorities include continuation of the Listed Places of Worship grant scheme for a further three years, and capital funding to roll out the grant elements of the Taylor Review pilot projects which finished earlier this year.

The Heritage Alliance
has also submitted their representation to the Comprehensive Spending Review. You can download their Backing the Bedrock: Fiscal and Funding Priorities 2020.
The Heritage Funding Directory: A Revitalised Tool for the Heritage Sector!
On 7th September, the Heritage Alliance and the Architectural Heritage Fund relaunched the new revitalised website for the Heritage Funding Directory. The Heritage Funding Directory is a free, simple platform for searching both funding grants and other means of support for individuals and organisations undertaking UK related heritage projects.
Rebuilding Heritage: a new support programme for the heritage sector
has launched this September. This free programme, coordinated by the Heritage Alliance and funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, will provide support to individuals and organisations to help them to respond and adapt to the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Delivered in partnership, it will draw on expertise from Clore Leadership, the Chartered Institute of Fundraising, Creative United, and Media Trust, to offer a programme of tailored support that will respond to sector feedback and changing circumstances.
The first wave of support is themed 'Ways Out Of Crisis' and the details of webinars and support sessions will be announced at the end of September and available in October via the website at
More than 3,000 CofE churches receive carbon footprint certificate thanks to new tool
The toolkit aims to help parishes measure their carbon output and energy use and provides pointers for making improvements to efficiency.
Garfield Weston: Shared Insights a year on: Further lessons from the internal and external evaluations of the Weston Anniversary Fund programme
As part of their 60th Anniversary celebrations in 2018, the Garfield Weston Foundation launched a first time-limited grants programme, the Weston Anniversary Fund (WAF), which offered grants worth between £30,000 and £150,000 to improve or create facilities of benefit to local communities across the UK. Keen to understand the impact of their work and to share insights that might be useful to the wider philanthropy sector, they have published a second report which looks at the extent to which this funding is meeting their primary goal to make a tangible and lasting difference in communities across the country.
The Charities (Exception from Registration) Regulations 1996
which have been extended on several occasions since they were originally due to lapse are due to expire on 31 March 2021: unless they are extended yet again excepted congregations will have to register with the Charity Commission and file accounts annually if their income is below £100,000 and above £5,000.
Making the most of parking spaces
Does your church have a car park? Some parishes in the UK are earning more than £20,000 a month by renting out spaces in their church and hall car parks.
Cathedrals, Good to Go Even Further
Every cathedral which is able to re-open to the public has achieved the Visit Britain’s industry standard and consumer charter mark We’re Good to Go which means they have taken all the necessary steps to help ensure people’s safety in line with latest Government and Public Health guidance. See what they have all been up to last month

SPAB National Maintenance Week: 20-27th November 2020
There will be supported, free online events.
Of interest, is Maintenance Question Time at 11am on 21 November. If you would like to send in a question, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by 5pm on 16 November. and
FaithAction: Community Cohesion Regional Roundtables
The current crisis has provided an excellent opportunity for faith groups and local authorities to work together to tackle the problems and issues raised by our nationwide lockdown at a local level. FaithAction are organising Regional Roundtables to talk about how faith groups and local authorities have been working together in the regions. Find out about the dates for your Region.
Tourism and Visitor Attractions Data 
Tourism and others organisations continue to share consumer tracker data, giving organisations an insight into the sentiments of consumers as places prepare to reopen. and
Building Dementia Friendly Churches
The Dementia Friendly Church programme, a collaboration between Stafford University and the Anglican Diocese of Lichfield, have released a 16-minute film highlighting the experiences of those that have benefitted from the programme.

Treasure Ireland
The National Churches Trust have started a new project called Treasure Ireland, working in Northern Ireland to promote maintenance and tourism.
Experiencing Sacred Wales
This ExploreChurches project is creating new website content and will be launching ‘Experiences’ in November.
Faith Tourism Wales
A symposium had been planned on Spiritual Tourism in Wales for April 2020 at the University of South Wales. The aim of was to enable participants to learn about the various spiritual / faith tourism / pilgrimage initiatives under way or being planned and to draw up an action plan for making more of the potential for spiritual tourism in Wales. It had to be postponed due to Covid-19. A website is now being set up where ideas can be shared and to encourage joint working. http://
Partners for Sacred Places: Partnering with Congregations and Communities for 30 Years
is the only non-sectarian, non-profit organization dedicated to sound stewardship and active community use of older sacred places across America.
They provide capital campaign training and fundraising strategies, along with technical assistance, and grants to congregations and other local organizations across the United States.

Levelling up our communities: proposals for a new social covenant 
Danny Kruger MP has published his report which he prepared at the request of the Prime Minister. It includes a section headed ‘A new deal with faith communities’ in which he notes that every faith ‘has charity, and particularly voluntary financial redistribution, at its heart: the Jewish and Christian tithe, the Sikh dasvandh, the Muslim zakhat, the Hindu dana’. 
He also notes that the Churches in the UK are estimated to have five million members, have deep roots in local communities, often have big buildings in the heart of communities – including the poorest ones – and a combined annual revenue of £11 billion per year; almost 20 per cent of total charitable income. 
He further notes that faith communities generally operate outside the aegis of local government and the public services for various reasons (some controversial). He regards that distancing as ‘a very bad thing’ and suggests that public servants are often reluctant to partner with faith-based organisations again for various reasons. 
He proposes that the Government should invite the country’s faith leaders to make a grand offer of help on behalf of their communities, in exchange for a reciprocal commitment from the state.

The Heritage Alliance’s report on Heritage, Health and Wellbeing 
Was published on 28thSeptember 2020. It explores the positive impact heritage can have on individual and community wellbeing. While the case for arts and culture supporting wellbeing is well developed, there is comparatively less understanding of the power of heritage to help people to “feel good”. 
The report examines the existing work in this space, before showcasing more than 30 case studies. These case studies cover the breadth of the work in our sector, from yoga in a historic house to a group of disabled adults empowered to put on a club night at Alexandra Palace. 
Community Facilities Programme (Wales)
Grants available for physical improvements to community facilities.
New resources from the Allchurches Trust
Allchurches has launched a helpful hub of resources to support churches in a number of ways from project planning and publicity to impact measurement, from connecting with young people to helping people who have money worries.  and
The Regeneration Team at the Churches Conservation Trust
are aware that smaller organisations or groups running, or planning to operate, new enterprises from historic buildings are facing unprecedented challenges at the moment, but ‘we are hoping we can offer advice or a sympathetic ear. Our small team have considerable experience and knowledge with a wide range of skills and expertise supporting communities and restoring historic spaces’.
They are offering free support for issues such as, business and governance, activity and planning, and consultation and engagement. More information here
Heritage Digital has now gone live with a series of webinars and resources
The key resources and webinars are now accessible through the project portal and includes:
*A guide to growing and engaging audiences online
*How digital skills can transform the heritage sector
*Getting started with data
* Copyright and suppliers: how to get the rights you need in new digital content
They are also case studies on:
Understanding youth digital engagement with heritage sites and pathway to CRM adoption by Midland and Great North Joint Railway Society.
You do need to register.
Changes to roof alarm grant funding
With metal theft continuing to be such a challenging issue, Allchurches Trust, owners of Ecclesiastical Insurance Group, has increased the amount of funding available to churches under its Roof Protection Scheme, with grants now funding up to 50% of the cost of the alarm, up to a maximum of £2500. Scheme now extended until the end of 2020.
Installing broadband?
Parish Buying has been working with the DCMS and the installers to make sure that churches can get the location information needed to have broadband installed. There is a new page on Parish Buying about this, with a solution. Essentially it should (slowly) help resolve the postcode issue by allowing churches to find out their UPRN (universal property reference number). and
Cleaning and Health and Safety supplies
Both Parish Buying and Church Buying are making available cleaning, handwash and other supplies in preparation for the gradual re-opening of places of worship and
Test and Trace: a digital solution from Parish Buying
Parish Buying have negotiated a deal for churches and cathedral who are seeking a digital solution to complying with NHS Test and Trace. Run by a company called Guest Visit, it takes away all the hassle of managing the personal data, including the requirement to delete it after 21 days, and following up on Covid positive cases, by acting as data controller.

Stir to Action: 30 free places on the New Economy Programme for Community Businesses!
In partnership with Power to Change, Stir to Action is offering 30 free places on the New Economy Programme that launches this week! A wide range of courses on engagement and participation, social communications, media and journalism, democratic business, placemaking, creativity, and autonomy at work.

Relaunched Conservation Register 
The Institute of Conservation’s redeveloped Conservation Register is the first-ever publicly accessible directory of all Icon-Accredited conservators. 
The Register’s free online tool will help you identify an Icon-Accredited conservator by object, specialism or material type, and the individual directory entries provide career and biographical outlines, along with training and work histories. 

The SPAB’s online learning programme
The SPAB are offering weekly webinars and online evening lectures during lock-down. SPAB members can also access free weekly skill-share sessions.
UK Churches Architects Awards: your chance to vote on 5th November
The Church Architecture Awards is now going to be a live online Zoom event called the People’s Vote.
Each year, the UK Church Architecture Awards honour excellence and creativity in church architecture. The Awards are run by the National Churches Trust and the Ecclesiastical Architects and Surveyors Association. This year it will be a virtual celebration of the best church architecture of the last 10 years.
There will a short list of the best new church buildings and new designs in church re-ordering, alterations or extensions and the best church conservation or repair projects. The final winners will be chosen by the audience in an ‘online people’s vote’.
Church Monuments Essay Prize
The Church Monuments Society offers a biennial prize of £500 for the best essay on an aspect of church monuments of any period in Britain or abroad, along with publication of the winning essay in the peer-reviewed international annual Church Monuments, the CMS journal. The closing date for new entries is 31 December 2020.
For a copy of the rules and for the guidelines to contributors.
Furniture in Architecture: The Work of Luke Hughes: Arts & Crafts in the Digital Age by Aidan Walker
Published 17 September by Thames & Hudson. Price £48
It explores the relationship between space, function, design, craft, economic drivers and the ‘sense of place’ expressed in the widely varied work of one of Britain’s most significant contemporary furniture designers, Luke Hughes & Company.
‘Pilgrimage and England's Cathedrals, Past, Present, and Future’, Dee Dyas and John Jenkins (eds)  
Published by Palgrave Macmillan, 2020, this examines England's cathedrals and their relationship with pilgrimage through history understanding the relationship between pilgrimage and English cathedrals over time. It brings together historians, social scientists, and cathedral practitioners to provide ground breaking work.
‘The Dynamics of Pilgrimage: Christianity, Holy Places and Sensory Experience’, Dee Dyas, Routledge, 2020
This book offers a systematic, chronological analysis of the role played by the human senses in experiencing pilgrimage and sacred places, past and present. It thus addresses two major gaps in the existing literature, by providing a broad historical narrative against which patterns of continuity and change can be more meaningfully discussed, and focusing on the central, but curiously neglected, area of the core dynamics of pilgrim experience.
National Rural Officer
Location: Arthur Rank Centre, Warwickshire
Job Type: Full Time
Contract Type:  Permanent
Salary: £36,000-39,000
Closing Date: Monday 05 October 2020
Are you passionate about helping rural Christians and churches serve their communities with confidence? 
Have a track record of ministry and mission with people with no religious affiliation or connection to faith community? 
We are seeking someone to help expand a vibrant Christian presence in rural contexts and empower rural leaders to communicate a relevant Gospel message, particularly through evangelism, church growth, and pioneering new Christian communities.  
This is part of our work to equip the Methodist Church in Britain to be a growing, evangelistic, inclusive, justice-seeking Church for the 21st century. 
This post will begin in Summer 2021. We welcome qualified ordained and lay applicants and especially encourage persons of colour and young adults to apply. The post is designated as office-based at Arthur Rank Centre, Warwickshire, with some work at Methodist Church House, London. Remuneration: For ordained appointments, the standard arrangements apply; for lay employees, £36,000-39,000 per annum.
Closing date: 5 October
Interview date: 20 October
Assistant Church Buildings Officer, Diocese of Gloucester
Band 6 (fte £21,720-£25,503)
21 hours per week
To support the work of the Church Buildings Team and the Diocesan Advisory Committee (DAC) for the Care of Churches.
*To offer helpful and flexible support to a small team that manages a complex and varied workload.
*To be a key point of contact for parishes, accessing the Online Faculty System as well as providing timely advice and guidance in matters concerning the care of church buildings and churchyards.
*To support the provision of training and guidance for parishes in all aspects of managing their churches through a variety of media.
*To help establish effective support / systems for the management, conservation and adaptation of churches.
Closing date for applications is 12noon on Monday 12 October 2020
Interviews will be held on Tuesday 20 October 2020 via Microsoft Teams

The deadline for information to go in the next e-newsletter is Friday 23 October 2020 though earlier submissions are encouraged! Please email:
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