§ Lord BALERNO
asked Her Majesty's Government:
What Government aid has already been approved for the maintenance of historic churches in Scotland; and what are their plans for extending this assistance to other historic churches.
§ Lord HUGHES
I assume the noble Lord has in mind historic churches still in ecclesiastical use. Towards the end of 1972, the then Secretary of State invited the principal denominations in Scotland to participate in a pilot scheme by submitting applications for grant-aid to the 1283WA Historic Buildings Council, who would make recommendations to him. The scheme is confined to a small number of churches of outstanding architectural or historic merit whose congregations or owners cannot afford to undertake the work of preservation.
Applications from the Church of Scotland, the Baptist Union, the Scottish Episcopal Church, the Methodist Church and the Free Presbyterian Church have been received, and consultations with the various denominations about the detailed conditions of grants are currently taking place.
When we have been able to evaluate the pilot scheme, a decision will be made on more general grant-aid for churches of architectural or historic merit in Scotland.