The Fund is carrying out a consultation (which you can find here) about how it might allot its money. Members of the public can register their views, and I would strongly encourage you to do so and pass the word around.
Miss Waddington says:
To my mind the questionnaire is not very well designed. It seems that it is necessary to mention churches in the comments box for them to get a look in. The one good aspect is that you can review what you have written before signing off.
Here is the email that is being circulated:
“I have been told authoritatively, and from a completely dependable source, that the initial results from the HLF on-line e-mail consultation are not especially encouraging with regard to potential future funding for churches.
Although a sizeable proportion of those responding to date have indicated that they enthusiastically support future funding for historic structures and buildings, a far smaller proportion have indicated support for resources being targeted at churches. This may reflect a shortcoming in the questions themselves, and therefore a confusion in the public mind about whether funding would be offered to churches as historic buildings or whether all churches are to regarded as religious institutions, and therefore as a low priority for Heritage funding.
Given the eventual phasing-out of much English Heritage money to support historic buildings, and the need to garner support from the HLF for our churches, it is essential that we do all we can to influence the on-line consultation in the direction of continued (and greater) support for church buildings as important historic structures and part of the national patrimony.
The deadline for on-line comments is 26th April and the documentation is available on www.hlf.org.uk/consultation2011 Please respond yourselves and get anyone else (DAC members, workers in your diocesan office, friends, complete strangers off the street…) you can to do the same. The numbers of people responding are fairly small, so the chances of having a significant effect on the statistical balance are good. “www.hlf.org.uk/consultation2011