BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific Arabic Spanish Russian Chinese Welsh
BBCi CATEGORIES   TV   RADIO   COMMUNICATE   WHERE I LIVE   INDEX    SEARCH 

BBC NEWS
 You are in:  UK
Front Page 
World 
UK 
England 
Northern Ireland 
Scotland 
Wales 
UK Politics 
Business 
Sci/Tech 
Health 
Education 
Entertainment 
Talking Point 
In Depth 
AudioVideo 


Commonwealth Games 2002

BBC Sport

BBC Weather

SERVICES 
Friday, 1 March, 2002, 22:17 GMT
Churches could 'double as discos'
The Archbishop of Canterbury Dr George Carey
Dr Carey wants the government to pay for repairs
The Archbishop of Canterbury says cash-strapped churches could double as discos in return for government funding.

Dr George Carey is asking the government to make a substantial contribution to the up-keep of church buildings.

He told BBC News he would be happy to see churches more widely used.

As some churches are already used to accommodate youth clubs and police posts, they could also provide venues for discos, Dr Carey added.

The Church of England spends more than 120m a year maintaining church buildings - some dating from Saxon times.

Tiny congregations

Repairs to its 9,000 Grade I listed buildings must be carried out to a high standard.

Lobbying by the Archbishop has led to the Chancellor cutting VAT on church repairs to five percent.

English Heritage and Lottery grants also fund repairs.

But with tiny congregations, many churches cannot meet the bills.

Dr Carey says the maintenance bill remains a crushing burden.

Joint responsibility

He believes the Church should not be expected to take sole responsibility for "over 16,000 parish churches, full of social history, local history, lovingly kept up by generations of Christian people".

The burden of maintaining church buildings "should be borne by everybody", the Archbishop explained.

Elsewhere in Europe churches receive generous grants.

In France, churches built before 1900 are maintained by the state.

See also:

20 Feb 02 | Wales
Leap of faith pays dividends
27 Oct 01 | England
Unholy row over tin tabernacle
15 Jun 01 | Education
Church restored for music education
11 Feb 01 | Northern Ireland
Last service in Sailortown church
25 Oct 00 | UK
Charms and list
14 Sep 00 | Northern Ireland
Focus on future of docks church
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more UK stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more UK stories