Devon Historic Churches

Useful Links

Support Devon’s Heritage

Links to other useful websites (which open in a new window) and other contact details.

Please note that the opinions of external bodies may not be those of the Diocese of Exeter or the Devon Historic Churches Trust and the inclusion of any company’s details does not imply endorsement of recommendation of that firm.

Access to Historic Buildings: English Heritage Guidance

These guidelines are intended for those who own, manage or occupy historic buildings. They are also intended for those who will be professionally involved in planning alterations to historic buildings or in advising on alternative forms of service provision.

The link will take you to a pdf of the guidance. Printed copies and copies in alternative formats are available free from English Heritage Customer Services (Product code 50702).
e-mail :

Archaeology – Why it matters

The Archaeology Forum (TAF), formerly the Historic Environment Forum, has brought out a new advocacy document ‘Archaeology Enriches us All’ to explain why archaeology matters.

Bat Conservation Trust

Link to a publication by the Bat Conservation Trust entitled “Bats in Churches and how you can help them”.

The British Institute of Organ Studies

The Central Council of Church Bell Ringers

The Towers and Belfries Committee of the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers make available advice and assistance on and information about the installation, maintenance and security of rings of bells, the maintenance of towers, and related matters. Contact details of how to obtain such advice can be found on the website.


CHURCHart exists to encourage artists, congregations, and those involved in the care of churches to foster and engage the arts in the life of the church.
Contains information on how to commission and fund new art work.


Information about fundraising, guidance for new churchwardens and all sorts details on different aspects of maintaining church fabric and developing your church building.

Church Monument Handbook

Useful advice on caring for stone monuments by conservation company Minerva.

Church Safety

Helpful information regarding Health and Safety

Church Plans On-Line

This is useful for research on your building. Some 12,300 plans are included in these files which, in some instances, are the only surviving evidence for the layout of the church before restoration.

Churches Tourism Association

The Cathedral and Church Buildings Library

The most important single collection in the UK of books and other material dedicated solely to ecclesiastical architecture, art, design and liturgy; a unique research tool for readers interested in those areas.

The Library is located at Church House, Westminster and is usually open to external readers by appointment with the Honorary Librarian (Telephone 020 7898 1884 Tuesdays and Wednesdays). They will also accept telephone queries from parishes to see what information they may hold on your particular church, which may be useful when having to undertake research for Statements of Significance when changes to a church are planned.

The Conservation Foundation

The Conservation Foundation was founded to provide a means for people in public, private and non-profit sectors to collaborate on environmental causes. In terms of churches, see the ‘Parish Pumps Programme’ section of the website; the Programme is organised in association with the Public Affairs Division of the Church of England. It brings news and information on sustainable living, provides funding for community projects and organises events on topical sustainable consumption and production issues.

Conservation Register

The Conservation Register makes information available on conservation-restoration businesses providing commercial services in a variety of specialisms, many of which will be useful to churches seeking specialist help.

Disability advice – Through the Roof

Through the Roof is a Christian disability ministry working in partnership with churches and other organisations to promote access and inclusion of disabled people in every area of church life.

English Heritage ‘Inspired!’ campaign

Inspired! is English Heritage’s campaign to secure a sustainable future for England’s 14,500 listed places of worship. A ‘one-stop shop’ for everything that English Heritage does to support places of worship.

Faith in Maintenance

An initiative run by the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB) which aims to help volunteers who look after historic places of worship. They provide training to help you understand how your building works and how to solve problems caused by leaky gutters and blocked drains. Free training courses are available to any faith group using an historic building for worship.

Two courses were held in the Diocese in April, and a further course is planned for July 2009.

The website contains lots of helpful tips and guidance.

Funds for Historic Buildings

A comprehensive guide to funding for anyone seeking to repair, restore or convert for a new use any historic building in England and Wales.

Images of England

A useful starting point when exploring what makes your church special when beginning to draw up the PCC’s Statement of Significance of the building.

Listed Places of Worship Grants Scheme

Information on how to reclaim VAT on church repairs.

Maintain Your Building

Information on the best ways to maintain your buildings from the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings

Maintenance Plans

English Heritage guidance on maintenance plans for historic places of worship. Directed at those applying for an EH grant, but useful for all churches. Maintenance Plan leaflet to download can be found near bottom of link page.

Making Changes to a Listed Church

Guidelines for clergy, churchwardens and PCCs from the Rule Committee of General Synod

Metal Thefts from Churches

Guidance from Ecclesiastical Insurance regarding metal thefts from churches.

Metal Thefts from Churches

English Heritage’s guidance on metal thefts.

National Churches Trust

Our mission is to promote a culture that recognises and supports church buildings of historic, architectural and community value. If you have an interest in churches you will find this site interesting.

Parish Resources for Stewardship

Church of England’s Stewardship website, with much useful information for parishes on this issue including information on giving, Gift Aid, a Stewardship Toolkit for Rural Churches, and much more.

Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB)

The SPAB represents the practical and positive side of conservation.
They are also one of the National Amenity Societies who may need to be consulted on significant changes to listed church buildings.

They have a free telephone advice line for technical advice.
SPAB Techncial Advice Line (9.30am-12.30pm)
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday 0207 456 0916

The Georgian Group

One of the National Amenity Societies who advise on buildings of the period 1700 to 1837. They may need to be consulted on significant changes to listed churches or fittings of this period.

The Victorian Society

One of the National Amenity Societies who advise on buildings of the period 1837 to 1914. They may need to be consulted on significant changes to listed churches or fittings of this period.

The Twentieth Century Society

One of the National Amenity Societies who advise on buildings of the period from 1914 to the present day. They may need to be consulted on significant changes to listed churches or fixtures and fittings from this period.

Turret Clocks

Personal website of Mr Chris McKay (professional member and Director of the British Horological Institute (BHI)) containing many useful documents to download regarding the conservation and maintenance of Church Turret Clocks.