URC Buildings Forum

Home Links and Resources

Useful Links and Resources

Historic England is the government’s statutory adviser on the historic environment. Its role is to champion and protect England’s historic environment. Historic England is also a statutory consultee for
applications under the Ecclesiastical Exemption.


Historic England maintains the list of ‘Listed Buildings’ and to check if your building is listed please consult


Historic England’s strategy for working with places of worship 2013-2018


Cadw is the Welsh Government’s historic environment service working for an accessible and well-protected historic environment for Wales. Cadw’s aim is to conserve Wales’s heritage, to help people
understand and care about their history and to help sustain the distinctive character of Wales

Cadw is a Welsh word meaning ‘to keep’ or ‘to protect’.





The Operation of the Ecclesiastical Exemption

The Ecclesiastical Exemption (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Amendment) Order 2010 – Statutory Instrument 2010 No. 1176

This replaces the original 1994 Order in England (Note: the Original Order is still in place in Wales)


The Ecclesiastical Exemption (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Amendment) Order 2010 – Statutory Instrument 2010 No. 1860

This amendment to Statutory Instrument 2010 No. 1176 adds North Western Synod to Schedule 2.


The Operation of the Ecclesiastical Exemption and related planning matters for places of worship in England Guidance

Prepared by the Department for Culture, Media & Sport for the guidance of denominations covered by the exemption.


Procedure for the control of works to buildings

This is the protocol agreed between the United Reformed Church and the Department of Culture, Media and Sport and explains the operation of the Exemption within the denomination. (Until recently
this was on the Plato web-site, but has been taken down)


Germinate is the new name for the Churches Rural initiative at the Arthur Rank Centre. Many of the resources on theirwebsite are connected to the use of buildings in rural settings.


Nonconformist Places of Worship

Introductions to Heritage Assets

By Dr Christopher Wakeling (author), Paul Stamper (editor)


Listed Buildings

Historic England is responsible for making recommendations to the Department of Culture, Media and Sport for the Listing of Buildings, together with recommendations in connection with Monuments, Parks
and Gardens, Battlefield, Wrecks, etc. Information about the listing process can be found on the following website.


Local Heritage Listing

In some Local Authority areas the Planning Department have established a Local List of buildings, which are not subject to formal Listing by Historic England but are considered to be of local heritage
importance. Local Listed buildings are not covered by the Ecclesiastical Exemption and applications for Listed Buildings Consent to alter these building should be made to the Local Authority Planning


Improving Access to Historic Buildings

Historic England’s guidelines on improving access to historic buildingsfor people with disabilities, explain how to make a range of positive changes to historic places, while at the same time working
within the wider principles of conservation.

Aimed at those who own, manage or get involved in adapting historic places such as architects, the guidelines include a summary of the statutory framework, as well asexamples of successful approaches,
ranging from minor improvements to high-quality modern design solutions.


Historic England’s Regional Offices

East Midlands

2nd Floor, Windsor House Cliftonville Northampton NN1 5BE

01604 735460 eastmidlands@HistoricEngland.org.uk

East of England

Brooklands 24 Brooklands Avenue Cambridge CB2 8BU

01223 582749: eastofengland@HistoricEngland.org.uk


1 Waterhouse Square 138-142 Holborn London EC1N 2ST

020 7973 3700 london@HistoricEngland.org.uk

North East

Bessie Surtees House 41-44 Sandhill Newcastle Upon Tyne NE1 3JF

0191 269 1255 northeast@HistoricEngland.org.uk

North West

3rd Floor, Canada House 3 Chepstow Street Manchester M1 5FW

0161 242 1416 northwest@HistoricEngland.org.uk

South East

Eastgate Court 195-205 High Street Guildford GU1 3EH

01483 252020 southeast@HistoricEngland.org.uk

South West

29 Queen Square Bristol BS1 4ND

0117 975 1308 southwest@HistoricEngland.org.uk

West Midlands

The Axis 10 Holliday Street Birmingham B1 1TG

0121 625 6870 westmidlands@HistoricEngland.org.uk


37 Tanner Row York YO1 6WP

01904 601948 yorkshire@HistoricEngland.org.uk

Other Offices

Swindon The Engine House Fire Fly Avenue Swindon SN2 2EH

01793 445050 swindon@HistoricEngland.org.uk

Fort Cumberland Fort Cumberland Road Eastney Portsmouth PO4 9LD :

023 9285 6704 fort.cumberland@HistoricEngland.org.uk

Other Heritage Organisations

Amenity Societies

Ancient Monuments Society

The Ancient Monuments Society was founded in 1924 ”for the study and conservation of ancient monuments, historic buildings and fine old craftsmanship’. We are committed not only to campaigning for historic
and beautiful buildings, but to furthering the study of them.


C20 Society

The Twentieth Century Society was founded as the Thirties Society in 1979, and exists to safeguard the heritage of architecture and design in Britain from 1914 onwards. The Society’s prime objectivesare
conservation and education.


Council for British Archaeology

An independent charity, the Council for British Archaeology brings together members, supporters and partners to give archaeology a voice and safeguard it for future generations.


The Georgian Group

The Georgian Group is the national charity dedicated to preserving Georgian buildings and gardens. We were founded in 1937.We aim to protect historic buildings through providing advice to
owners and architects, campaigning, and through our role as statutory consultees in the planning system. Our annual awards promote excellence in design and conservation. In its casework, the Georgian Group
advises councils, church bodies, and others on threats to the historic fabric and setting of structures built between 1700 and 1840. The Group organises lectures and other events aimed at improving the
understanding of aspects of the eighteenth and early nineteenth century built heritage. We also produce technical advice leaflets, and promote the publication of academic research through our journal.


Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB)

The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings was founded by William Morris in 1877 to counteract the highly destructive ‘restoration’ of medieval buildings being practised by many Victorian architects.
Today it is the largest, oldest and most technically expert national pressure group fighting to save old buildings from decay, demolition and damage.


Victorian Society

The Victorian Society is the charity championing Victorian and Edwardian buildings in England and Wales. Our Conservation Advisers help local planning authorities and churches to make better decisions
about adapting Victorian and Edwardian buildings to the way we live now, while keeping what is special about them.


Other Organisations

War Memorials Trust

War Memorials Trust works for the protection and conservation of war memorials in the UK. We provide advice and information to anyone as well as running grant schemes for the repair and conservation of
war memorials.


Grants, Funding, etc.

The Listed Places of Worship Grant Scheme

The Listed Places of Worship (LPW) Grant Scheme gives grants that cover the VAT incurred in making repairs to listed buildings in use as places of worship. The scheme covers repairs to the fabric of the
building, along with associated professional fees, plus repairs to turret clocks, pews, bells and pipe organs.


Heritage Lottery Fund

From the archaeology under our feet to the historic parks, buildings, places of worship we love, from precious memories to rare wildlife… The Heritage Lottery Fund use money raised by National Lottery
players to help people across the UK explore, enjoy and protect the heritage they care about.




Buildings for Mission – A Complete Guide to the Care, Conversion and Development of Churches (Canterbury Press)

Making Church Accessible to All – Including disabled people in church life. (brf)