Expert helps historic churches in Diocese of Hereford

image captionTim Bridges will be looking after the 300 church buildings across Herefordshire

An expert in maintaining historic buildings has been appointed to look after hundreds of old churches across Herefordshire.

Tim Bridges is working three days a week in the Diocese of Hereford as part of a £1.5m English Heritage programme.

"I will be helping individual congregations with the care of their buildings and ensuring they are in a good state of repair," he said.

Many of the church buildings in the diocese are Grade I or II listed.

Maintenance and modernising

Mr Bridges, whose new title the Church Buildings Support Officer in the Diocese of Hereford, said there is always work to be done.

"It's about making them of 21st century use as well, and helping these buildings to be a bigger part of the community - most churches are looking now to widen their remit.

"Obviously the act of worship and mission of the diocese and the church is of paramount importance, but it's actually diversifying that and doing things that are in sympathy with it within the buildings," said Mr Bridges.

His appointment is part of an English Heritage programme called Inspired which will support congregations wanting to maintain historic places of worship.

image captionMany communities need help upgrading aspects of their parish church, like Dormington where the weather cock has recently been refurbished.

There are around 300 historic church buildings in Herefordshire, most of which are listed as Grade I or Grade II.

Mr Bridges will work with the Diocesan Advisory Committee on the Care of Buildings (DAC) and the Community Partnership and Funding Officer, as well as Herefordshire's Historic Churches Trust.

Stephen Challenger, secretary of the DAC, said his new role is important to people living in a rural diocese like Hereford.

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