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Listed Places of Worship grants scheme saved in Spending Review

The scheme, which reimburses VAT on repairs to listed places of worship will continue, although concessions on professional fees, organs and bells already withdrawn will not be reinstated.

Welcoming the announcement by the Department for Culture Media and Sport, the Rt Revd Richard Chartres, Bishop of London and Chair of the Church Heritage Forum, said:

“I am very glad that the Department for Culture Media and Sport has announced that the Listed Places of Worship Grants Scheme will continue. Abandoning the scheme, which affects every part of the United Kingdom, would have been tantamount to a tax on fundraising; a great disincentive to the hundreds of thousands of volunteers who care for our churches and a blow to the credibility of the concept of the Big Society.

“While I regret that the additional concessions on professional fees, organs and bells, secured in 2006 and already withdrawn, will not be reinstated, I very much welcome the Government’s recognition that church buildings make a large contribution to the community as a whole.

“We owe a debt of gratitude to those who have campaigned tirelessly within the Church of England for the scheme to be maintained and also to the Heritage Minister for his informed concern and determination to find a solution which balances economic necessity with a recognition of the role and potential of our church buildings.

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