Churches: Repairs and Maintenance

Church Commissioners written question – answered on 13th September 2021.

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Photo of Alexander Stafford Alexander Stafford Conservative, Rother Valley

To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, what most recent financial estimates the Church of England holds on the outstanding cost of fabric repairs to its parish churches.

Photo of Andrew Selous Andrew Selous The Second Church Estates Commissioner

Fluctuating material costs and the availability of specialist workers affect cost estimates significantly, so it is difficult to give a precise figure.

It is estimated, based on available architectural inspections and costed works, that the outstanding capital cost of all repairs over the next five years is close to £1bn for our 16,000 parish churches, or around £200m a year.

At best parishes currently raise and spend approximately half of that annually, so there remains a significant and growing maintenance deficit on these beautiful and treasured buildings.

England’s Anglican cathedrals were surveyed in 2019 to establish their repair and maintenance liabilities and from that it is estimated that these 42 buildings require £140m in the next five years in maintenance and repair. This estimate does not include precinct properties.

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