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Public support government funding for church heritage

Mon 01 Feb 2016
By Hannah Tooley

A poll has found the public are generally supportive of the Government funding church buildings.

The National Churches Trust says more than half of British adults back the Government providing financial support for churches, chapels and meeting houses to protect their heritage and history for future generations.

Eddie Tulasiewicz, from the National Churches Trust, told Premier: "We're really pleasantly surprised that 60% of British adults think that the government providing financial support for churches, to make sure they're there for future generations, is a good thing - and that's a pretty high score."

The majority of British adults, 84%, also thought that the UK's churches, chapels and meeting houses remain an important part of the UK's heritage and history, according to the findings of the ComRes poll, which interviewed more than 2,000 adults.

Mr Tulasiewicz told Premier what people wanted: "The five tops things that encouraged people to come back to churches were; a friendly welcome - that seems fairly obvious doesn't it? If you're welcome somewhere you're likely to come back.

"And toilets, cafe or refreshment area, comfortable seating and quite importantly access to useful visitor information."

He also commented that there was a regional divide as to how many people attended church: "The north east [64%] - more people visit than in Wales [45%] - that could a be reflection on access to buildings, certainty in Wales a lot of chapels have closed in recent years so there could be fewer places for people to go to."

"There's a divide between the sexes - women are much more likely than men to visit the church for a church service or for religious reasons - 40% of women said they'd been to a church for a religious reason in the last year, but only 34% of men."

The poll found that 57% of British adults said that they had visited a church in the past year for religious services, non-religious activities or as a visitor or tourist.

Listen to Premier's Hannah Tooley speak to Eddie Tulasiewicz from the National Churches Trust here:

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