British public want churches protected for future generations, new poll shows


St Mary and All Saints, Fotheringhay. Northamptonshire Image: (c) Bob Stewart

St Mary and All Saints, Fotheringhay. Northamptonshire Image: (c) Bob Stewart

Castles, cathedrals and churches and royal palaces are the historic buildings that the British public think it is most important to protect for future generations, according to the results of an opinion poll carried out for the National Churches Trust, the UK's church buildings support charity, by ComRes.

Out of ten key types of historic buildings, British adults are most likely to say that castles should be protected for future generations (34%). This is followed by cathedrals and churches (20%) and royal palaces (18%). Other building types and their ranking in the poll included country houses (4%), transport buildings and structures (4%) and government and civic buildings (3%).

Adults 65 years of age and over were the largest age group (32%) to rank cathedrals and churches as the most important type of historical building to be protected followed by people aged 45 - 54 (22%) compared with those aged 55 - 64 (19%), 35 - 44 year olds (14%), people aged 25 - 34 (14%) and 18 - 24 year olds (8%).

Claire Walker, Chief Executive of the National Churches Trust, said: "At the heart of communities in cities, towns and villages, cathedrals and churches are a treasure trove of architecture, history and faith. As we approach the 2017 Budget, I hope that the fact that the public think that it is important to protect church buildings for the future will provide the Chancellor with the evidence he needs to provide further funding, such as the Listed Places of Worship Roof Repair Fund, to protect churches for future generations."

"In 2015 and 2016 funding from the Government funded Listed Places of Worship Roof Repair Fund helped over 400 historic places of worship carry out urgent repairs to safeguard their future, allowing them to continue to play a vital role in the life and well-being of communities throughout the UK. They may be historic buildings. But cathedrals and churches should be part of our future, too."

Eddie Tulasiewicz, Head of Communications and Public Affairs for the National Churches Trust, said: "The UK benefits from having a huge number of historic buildings. We commissioned this poll from ComRes to find out which particular types of historic buildings the public think need to be protected for the future.

"With 42,000 church buildings, the United Kingdom's religious heritage is a unique part of our national story, with 45% of all England's Grade I listed buildings cathedrals and churches. It's therefore good news that the British public think that it is important to protect them for future generations, rating cathedrals and churches as more important than even royal palaces or country houses."


For more information about the National Churches Trust, visit www.nationalchurchestrust.org

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