National Churches Trust/St Peter's on the Green
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Brits support government backing for churches

Fri 03 Feb 2017
By Aaron James

A poll's found most Britons believe the government should keep providing financial support for churches in order to preserve them for future generations.

According to the ComRes poll commissioned by the National Churches Trust, 57 per cent of respondents felt the government should continue putting forward some monetary assistance to keep certain churches intact.

The poll also found more than four in five Brits (83 per cent) believe churches and other houses of worship are an important part of the UK's heritage, with nearly half (49 per cent) saying they should also be used as community centres as well as places for religious observance.

Nine per cent of Britons didn't think churches had any important benefits to the UK at all.

The findings of the survey come as the Department of Culture, Media and Sport's English Churches and Cathedrals Sustainability Review considers what is the best way to finance historic churches and cathedrals.

The Review is also assessing how houses of worship can be opened up more for community use.

Luke March DL, Chairman of the National Churches Trust said: "The UK's 42,000 church buildings represent a tremendous national asset much loved by the public... However, the costs of keeping historic churches in good repair and installing modern facilities is simply beyond the reach of most congregations."

"With 57 per cent of British adults backing government financial support for church buildings, I hope that government funding will continue to be made available to protect the heritage and history of churches."

"In good repair and with the right facilities to allow greater community use, church buildings, chapels and meeting houses can continue to play a vital role in the life and well-being of the nation for many, many years to come."

57 per cent of British adults visited a church or equivalent meeting house in the last year, according to the poll. The figure equates to roughly 33 million people.


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