First World War Centenary Cathedral Repairs Fund

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The Church of England and Catholic Church in England are delighted to be able to join with the Government in launching the application process for the cathedral repairs fund announced by the Chancellor in the March Budget.

The Chancellor announced at Budget 2014 that £20m will be available over the next two financial years. Cathedrals are powerful symbols of our shared history, and will be natural focal points for reflection and remembrance, as the nation comes together to commemorate the centenary of the First World War.

By investing in the buildings, we will be able to showcase our cathedrals at their best, as they offer a range of events, commemorations and services to their communities. The terms of the scheme have now been finalised and the scheme is now accepting applications.

The scheme will focus on urgent necessary repair works to the ecclesiastical buildings of listed Anglican and Catholic cathedral churches in England. Necessary repairs will have been identified by the architect or surveyor responsible for the cathedral, in many cases through a Quinquennial Inspection. The works should be needed to keep the building wind-proof, weather-tight, safe and open to the public, and done to prevent further deterioration of the fabric of the listed building.

An expert panel will be appointed by the Government, in consultation with both Church organisations. It will include experts in ecclesiastical architecture, architectural history, and grants management. This panel will determine how the grants are to be allocated, using the following criteria:

1. Necessity of the repair and consideration of the further damage which might be caused by delay.

2. The heritage significance of the listed building. This will be assessed using English Heritage’s Conservation Principles ‘values’.

3. Financial need. This will take into account endowments and reserves held by each cathedral.

Grants will be allocated as follows:


Expert Panel


30 May 2014

July 2014


September 2014

October 2014


January 2015

February 2015


*the Expert Panel will have some discretion to vary the value of grants awarded in view of the strength of the applications received

Culture Secretary Sajid Javid said:

“Our cathedrals are a unique part of England’s heritage and the cathedrals repair fund will ensure investment in their upkeep for the First World War centenary commemorations and beyond, ensuring they continue to play a pivotal role in our communities.”

Archbishop George Stack, Chairman of the Patrimony Committee of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, said:

“As we prepare to commemorate the enormous sacrifice made by so many during the First World War, it is hugely significant that this generous grant scheme is being made available to our Cathedrals. It will ensure that these historic religious buildings are kept in good repair, not least to proclaim the values and provide beacons of hope for all who continue to work for harmony and peace.”

The first round of applications is open now. Application is exclusively through a dedicated online application form which can be accessed from the Church of England’s Church Care’s cathedral grants pages: Detailed criteria and guidance is also available here.


Matilda Harden
Support Officer
Patrimony Committee


1. The Secretariat for the scheme, including for applications from Catholic cathedrals, is the Church of England’s Cathedrals and Church Buildings Division at Church House. More information, including detailed application guidance, can be found on

2. Conservation Principles is an English Heritage policy guide about the sustainable management of the historic environment. The values it outlines are evidential, historical, aesthetic and communal. Conservation Principles can be found on the English Heritage website:

3. Membership of the expert panel will be announced shortly.