Evaluating the Impact of the Churches Conservation Trust Model for Investment in Condition, Maintenance and Repair for Historic Places of Worship

Author(s): BOP Consulting

This research explored what it costs to repair and maintain historic church buildings across England, based on the records of the Churches Conservation Trust (CCT). The CCT was founded in 1969 to care for historically and architecturally outstanding Church of England churches that have been closed and are no longer in parochial use. It repairs, maintains and manages such buildings, keeping them open for visitors and developing their community role, alongside occasional acts of worship. Until 2014 this information had not been analysed but a partnership of the Church Commissioners of the Church of England, Historic England and the CCT commissioned work to identify and evaluate the impact of large investment work and make a first attempt to assess the benefits of maintenance and repair projects in these sensitive and often complex historic churches. The research revealed that: Investment in a building to achieve a sound building in good repair, rather than an ad hoc repair approach, results in savings being made on expenditure within 9 years of investment and a 53% saving being made within a 30 year period Churches in a better state of repair are financially more efficient in their use of utilities A longer period of 'neglect' leads to a higher conservation deficit to a building Churches in urban areas are more likely to experience a critical level and incidence of expenditure The report was compiled by BOP Consulting. It was originally commissioned as part of wider National Heritage Protection Plan work on understanding and countering the threat of neglect within the historic environment.

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