Managing the building, alteration, conservation and maintenance of places of worship – a vital part of the Church’s patrimony – is of great importance to this and to future generations of our faith community. To effectively upkeep churches, grants are available from statutory bodies that are responsible for listed buildings.
According to Céire Sadlier, Grants Officer for the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference, “I encourage any parish, or diocese, to make contact with me on email@example.com if they feel that they have a repair project that could qualify, whether small or large in nature. The options offered by both grants – the Historic Structures Fund and the Built Heritage Investment Scheme – have had a transformative effect on many local faith communities throughout the State. These grants are open for application to the local county council of the respective parish or diocese.”
A recent example is Saint Peter and Paul’s Church in Balbriggan, Archdiocese of Dublin, where the stained glass window (pictured) was in severe need of repair. The lead had buckled and the wooden frame was completely rotten. However, thanks to a contribution of €40,000 received through the Historic Structures Fund, which is managed by the Department of Housing, Local Government & Heritage, this 180 year old sacred window was restored to its original beauty.
The timeline of the window being repaired by conservation tradespeople from Abbey Stained Glass in Dublin
This ‘Historic Structures Fund’ is available to support investment in essential capital required to preserve the built heritage and thereby helping the owners and custodians of historic structures to safeguard their value into the future. See Historic Structures Fund applicant guide 2024 which is the guidance booklet for applicants.
Similarly – but for small scale projects – the Department’s ‘Built Heritage Investment Scheme (BHIS)’ provides funding to historic buildings in an effort to maintain these structures. The opportunity to apply for this scheme is open until mid-January 2024, with funding to be claimed within that calendar year. These grants range from €2,500 to €15,000. See Built Heritage Investment Scheme guidance 2024 which is the guidance booklet for applicants.