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Python's Palin backs new initiative to support church buildings

Broadcaster Michael Palin has given his backing to 50 things to do in a church, a new online initiative from the National Churches Trust …

'50 Things to do in a Church' with Michael Palin from National Churches Trust on Vimeo.

Broadcaster Michael Palin has given his backing to 50 things to do in a church, a new online initiative from the National Churches Trust …

50 Things to do in a Church celebrates the many and diverse uses of church buildings and asks the public to share their favourite things to do in a church or chapel.  

Play the video to hear writer, broadcaster and Monty Python veteran Michael Palin talk about what churches mean to him.

Launched by the National Churches Trust, the UK’s church repair and support charity, 50 Things to do in a Church highlights some of the activities and events that take place in and around church buildings and the many different ways that people use and experience churches and chapels.

As well as being places of worship, church buildings play a vital role in activities for the benefit of the wider community. It is estimated that nearly 90% of churches are used for community purposes as well as for regular worship. (1)

Included are activities and things to see and do linked to music and the arts, the spiritual, helping the community, art and architecture, food and drink, history, nature and wildlife, and sport and leisure.

The National Churches Trust is asking anyone with their own favourite things to do in a church to share them online on the National Churches Trust website, on the National Churches Trust Facebook page or on Twitter using the hashtag #50thingsinachurch.

Claire Walker, Chief Executive of the National Churches Trust said: “ 50 Things to do in a Church makes it clear that churches, chapels and meeting houses are a tremendous asset to local people and communities throughout the UK.

“The use of church buildings as community hubs has the strong support of the public. Some 83% of British adults think that churches, chapels and meeting houses play an important role for society, as they provide a space in which community activities can take place, as well as worship, according to the findings of a 2016 ComRes opinion poll on attitudes to church heritage.

“Of course, 50 Things to do in a Church is just a small selection of activities that take place in and around church buildings. We’d love to hear from the public about some of their favourite things to do in a church or chapel. People can add to our list and post photographs on our website or by visiting our Facebook page.

“I hope ‘50 Things to do in a Church’ will encourage more people to discover some of the great things that it is possible to do in a church or chapel and explore some of their amazing history and architecture. There is no better place to find a Green Man, light a candle, find the tomb of someone famous or get involved in helping the community.

“Of course, keeping churches open and in good repair, and with the right community facilities to allow them to be of benefit to local people, requires funding from both public and private sources as costs are beyond the reach of most local communities.

“Thanks to the support of our Friends and supporters, in 2015 we were able to play our part in this work by helping 177 communities with grants to their churches.

“The National Churches Trust receives no income from either government or church authorities, and we rely on our Friends and supporters to continue our work.

“An annual Friends subscription of just £30 can help us safeguard more of the UK’s fantastic church buildings. What a great way of helping keep churches alive for future generations.”

1 The National Churches Trust Survey - www.nationalchurchestrust.org/publications/national-churches-trust-survey

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