Sir Michael Palin has stepped forward in a bid to save the UK’s historical churches.
As part of the National Churches Trust’s ‘The Future of UK’s Churches’ debate, Sir Michael has put his weight behind a bid to protect an increasing number of churches and chapels that are closing.
He is the Vice President of the organisation, while this campaign is viewed as a vital movement for the protection of church buildings up and down the country.
Sir Michael said: “The UK has over 39,000 church buildings. The restrictions of COVID-19, resulting in reduced funding and fewer worshippers, has clouded the future for many of them. Yet churches remain a vital and much-loved part of the UK’s history and heritage and we can’t let them fall into neglect and disuse.”
This call for action comes after the number of churches open and being used for worship fell from around 42,000 to 39,800 over the last ten years. Many of the closed churches have since fallen into states of disrepair.
At the time of writing, a further 350 churches are currently at risk of closure in England. It is hoped that this campaign can draw attention to the issue.
Claire Walker, CEO of the National Churches Trust, made the point that you do not need to be religious to get involved.
She said: “Church buildings belong to all of us and that’s why we are starting a national debate about their future. Whether you are a regular churchgoer, a heritage lover or have been in a church recently to have your COVID vaccination, please do take part and tell us what you think.”
Sir Michael concluded with a request for the public to help save these buildings.
He added: “If you care as much as I do about the future of these much-loved buildings, do get involved with the National Churches Trust debate about ‘The Future of Churches’ and help shape their future.”