‘Text to save historic churches’ urges National Churches Trust charity as it marks 60 years of safeguarding the UK’s Christian places of worship.

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The UK’s churches, chapels and meeting houses are being urged to boost their collecting plates with text and online donations in a fundraising partnership announced by the National Churches Trust and online fundraising platform JustGiving.

The fundraising partnership is being launched to mark the 60th anniversary of the National Churches Trust, the only UK wide charity supporting and promoting Christian places of worship of historic, architectural and community value. The partnership will help churches, chapels and meeting houses which have not yet taken advantage of the benefits of online and text fundraising to raise more money, easily and tax efficiently.

Eligible places of worship will gain access to the JustGiving platform. As well as an online fundraising page, also included is a text donating option. If donating by text, the donor only pays the amount they wish to donate and will not be charged for the text nor have the text deducted from their monthly allowance and the full amount of the donation, with no deductions, will be paid to the church. Both online and text donations can be gift aided to maximise the benefit of the donation

There are an estimated 47,000 Christian places of worship in the UK and many will be eligible to benefit from the National Churches Trust and JustGiving fundraising partnership. Churches, chapels and meeting houses can apply online at http://www.nationalchurchestrust.org/justgiving.

About the National Churches Trust

The National Churches Trust was originally established on 24 March 1953 as the Historic Churches Preservation Trust. Since then it has provided over 12,000 grants and loans worth over £85 million in today’s prices to help the UK’s churches, chapels and meeting houses. Past trustees have included Sir Winston Churchill and Sir John Betjeman.

The National Churches Trust’s funding helps churches repair leaking roofs, restore stonework and preserve precious architectural features. It also pays for kitchens, heating and toilets, making it easier for places of worship to be used by local people for community activities such as playgroups, lunch clubs for the elderly, concerts and other art events.

Anniversary year highlights will include: a promotion of the UK’s favourite churches (July 2013) a London churches open day as part of the national Ride+Stride fundraising event (14 September 2013) and an architecture competition to find best churches, chapels and meeting houses built in the UK ‘s in the past 60 years (November 2013).

A range of photographs can be downloaded at http://www.flickr.com/photos/nationalchurchestrust/sets/72157632994387820/

Claire Walker Chief Executive of the National Churches Trust said:
“To mark the start of the National Churches Trust’s 60th anniversary year, we are making it easier for the UK’s churches, chapels and meeting houses to fundraise."
“Thanks to our partnership with online fundraising platform JustGiving, more churches will be able to fundraise online and by text message. This will be of particular benefit to churches that either can’t afford or don’t have the expertise to set up their own online or text donation facility."
“If a church is fundraising to repair a roof or to install a kitchen, by setting up an online fundraising page both local parishioners and friends, family and supporters living elsewhere will be able to contribute to the appeal."
“In an age where fewer of us carry cash, our ‘fundraise for free’ offer also means that instead of looking for loose change to put into the collecting plate, the weekly collection can now be done by text message. Text donations also make it easier for tourists visiting a church to contribute to its preservation and upkeep.”
“This fundraising partnership between the National Churches Trust and JustGiving will make it possible for more of the UK’s Christian places of worship to raise funds online and by text message and so help ensure that churches, chapels and meeting houses can remain open for worship, community activities and for visitors wanting to discover their local heritage and history."

Sally Chambers, JustGiving’s Head of charity marketing said:

"We're delighted to be working with the National Churches Trust to help more small organisations take advantage of online fundraising. We hope that this partnership will encourage groups who have never considered raising money in this way to take advantage of the benefits, by helping them to reach more supporters, and by making giving easier and more tax efficient."

Luke March, Chairman of the National Churches Trust, said:

“Churches have been part of our local and national landscape for so many centuries that their presence is often taken for granted."

“But the continuance of this is down to hard work, dedication and the injection of resources, and the National Churches Trust is proud to have played a part in helping keep churches alive for the last 60 years. Over the next 60 years the challenge will be different and even greater, but we approach it with confidence and commitment.”

ENDS

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Eddie Tulasiewicz
National Churches Trust
0-774-293-2278
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