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Support Officers for Historic Places of Worship

Support Officers can help you understand, manage and maintain your historic places of worship. They will help you build the skills necessary to manage and make best use of your building and understand the importance of regular maintenance.

By making links with external organisations they will help you to identify available grants for essential maintenance and repairs.

A support officer outside a church, pointing out the lead roof to a group of people attending a church maintenance training session
Support officer Becky Burrows teaching a group about the importance of church maintenance in Algarkirk, Lincolnshire © Becky Burrows

Support Officers can be employed by dioceses, faith groups, local authorities, voluntary bodies or charitable trusts but each post is tailored to meet local needs, working with a number of buildings. Historic England provides 50% of the costs of the post for three years.

So far 34 posts have been created and helped:

  • 1,574 congregations with ongoing support and advice
  • 6,542 individuals to learn confidence-building skills through study days
  • To gain over £13m in grants to deal with urgent repairs

I would not have had so much success with the renewal of the church roof without your help. Your advice and encouragement was invaluable and the courses that I have been on were well organised, relevant and enjoyable. Thank you for all your help.

Churchwarden to Support Officer, Warwickshire 2012

Support Officers will proactively engage with people and help create new working relationships. They will not insist upon particular solutions but work closely with a congregation to find the right solution for them and their building.

You widened our horizons, alerted us to sources of financial help, assisted with paperwork and generally spurred us on. You unfailingly responded when asked with prompt and cheerful help, and without ever being bossy or making us feel inadequate, gently steered us in the right direction.

PCC member to Support Officer, Coventry 2012

Employing a Support Officer

If you are interested in exploring the idea of employing a Support Officer to help with the historic places of worship we recommend that you look at our sample job description and speak to the your Historic England Local Office.

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