Historic Churches Conference 2017

04/09/2017 11:00 am

This year’s Historic Churches Committees’ Conference will be held on Thursday 5th October at Cathedral House, next to Salford Cathedral. Registration and refreshments will be from 10.00am and the Conference will start at 10.30am prompt.

The theme this year focusses on regeneration and access to grants. Salford has suffered years of deprivation and dereliction with large swathes of housing demolished in the post war period. At one point the congregation of the Cathedral dropped to an average of 50 people. The picture is now changing rapidly with regeneration projects in full swing around the Cathedral and new housing developments bringing a new residential community. The student population has expanded and the Cathedral now has a growing congregation with many young people attending daily Mass.

The Cathedral itself, once a masterpiece of Victorian architecture, underwent significant alterations in the wake of Vatican II and the decades that followed. Much of what once made the Cathedral interior outstanding was in fact removed. Whilst regeneration was already taking place around the Cathedral, there were no funds available to regenerate the Cathedral itself. The WWI Cathedrals Fund is currently providing essential funding to begin the process of re-establishing the Cathedral as a major landmark building. Conservation architect Andrew Arrol will outline the plans to bring the fabric back into good repair and provide both a safe and attractive new access. The WWI Fund has enabled other Catholic cathedrals to undertake work that they would never otherwise have been able to afford and Andrew will also illustrate the major works of enhancement that have taken place at Shrewsbury Cathedral.

Architectural Historian, James Crowley, will explain how sound historical research can underpin grant applications. James has been involved with a number of successful grant applications in the north west.

The conference will open with the Vicar General of Salford, Canon Michael Cooke, outlining how Salford has been undertaking a major process of pastoral review. There has been much discussion and a great deal of consultation. The problem that Salford faces is quite simply an over provision of churches. However, no listed churches are proposed for closure and the information provided by Taking Stock has informed the decision making process – exactly as Historic England (English Heritage) hoped it would when the Taking Stock Programme was initiated some eight years ago.

All will know about the closure of the HLF Grants for Places of Worship scheme (GPOW). Whilst, along with others, the Patrimony Committee remains convinced of the need for a dedicated grants programme focussing on the repair needs of historic churches, Sara Crofts, Head of Historic Environment at the HLF, will explain the new HLF grants landscape with which churches now have to engage. Steve Baylis, a professional fundraiser and now Head of Development at the Archdiocese of Birmingham will make this process look easy. Birmingham has had an outstanding success rate in achieving grants for its churches. All five of its applications for Roof Repair Fund grants were successful.

With welcome grant support from Historic England, great strides are being made with the development of the national HCC website and Fergus Brotherton will demonstrate what an asset this new resource is for the proper management of HCC Faculty applications.

As always, there will be time for discussion and time for a visit to the Cathedral where the new vision will be outlined. We are warmly welcomed to Salford Cathedral by the Dean, Fr Michael Jones, who is looking forward to sharing his vision with you.

We very much encourage delegates to arrive the afternoon before and are planning some interesting visits. However, before we can go firm on this we need to know roughly how many people are able to get to Salford by mid-afternoon on 4th October. Please tick the box on the booking form or email if you are interested in taking part in the tour on Wednesday afternoon/evening.

As in previous years, we will be arranging dinner at a local restaurant for those delegates who arrive the evening before. Please tick the box on the booking form.

N.B. There is no parking at Cathedral House.


Cathedral House, Salford Cathedral
250 Chapel Street, Salford, M3 5LL


Thursday 5th October 2017

10:00am - 4:30pm

How do I book?

Please return the Conference booking form to:


The fee is £50

If you would like to pay by cheque please email for details of who to make the cheque payable to and where to send it.

Closing date for applications is Thursday 29 September 2017.


Booking From - 2017 35.00 kB

Conference Letter - 2017 41.50 kB


Conference Letter - 2017

2017-conf-letter.doc 41.50 kB

Letter for the 2017 Historic Churches Conference.


Booking From - 2017

2017-conf-booking-form.doc 35.00 kB

Booking form for the Historic Churches Committee Conference 2017.