Climate change is making church roofs all holy

The National Churches Trust says the shifting environment is damaging religious buildings across the UK

The UK’s historic churches are at serious risk from the impact of climate change.

That’s according to the National Churches Trust, which says environmental shifts mean roofs, towers and spires are threatened by stronger winds, more frequent storms, higher levels of rainfall and more invasive pests such as termites.

The trust said in 2017 it recorded a 26% year-on-year increase in applications for grants for urgent repairs, maintenance and development projects on the previous year.

A total of 480 churches and chapels around the country sought financial help from the trust, which awarded 230 grants totalling £300,000 more than the previous year’s figure of £1.4 million.

Claire Walker, CEO of the organisation, said: “The intensity of extreme weather patterns, including heavier rainfalls and storms, is putting church gutters and drains under strain and systems designed in the past cannot cope.

“Looking to the future, the impact of climate change could have a serious impact on the UK’s historic churches.”

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