Rural Churches for Everyone
Village churches are key parts of our rural landscape. As well as being worshipping centres for the Church of England, they form an important part of our local heritage. But whose responsibility is it to look after them?
The answer is that it is the responsibility of the local church itself. This means that any effort to raise funds, seek grants and project manage any works is administered by the Parochial Church Council (PCC). Over the years, this has become an increasingly difficult task as funding becomes more difficult and searching for contactors more expensive. The village church receives no specific funding from the Central Church and relies on its donated income for all maintenance and day to day running.
Work with churches across Newcastle Diocese through the Inspired North East programme over recent years highlighted the potential for rural churches to work together to care for their buildings and the Rural Churches for Everyone project was born. Partners including Community Action Northumberland, the Centre for the Rural Economy at Newcastle University, Northumberland National Park and the North Pennines and Northumberland Coast AONBs have come together to deliver the project and funding has been secured from the National Lottery Heritage Fund.
The project will work with 42 rural churches across the Diocese over the next two years to collectively plan for a sustainable future for our church buildings, our communities and our heritage.
You can see the churches in this project by clicking here or in the map below.