by Steve Coleman


[The author has brought an error of interpretation to our attention. In order to make it clear that Diana Evans of English Heritage sent an email quoting a message which she had herself received from the Listed Places of Worship Grant Scheme,  i.e. DCMS and Liberata, the below piece is reproduced in full in issue #5360. We apologise for this error.]


Good news! Or, at least, good news for those few churches whose towers are detached.

As explained in my article of 11th October 2013, VAT can now be reclaimed on almost all bell work and bell ropes under The Listed Places of Worship Grant Scheme. However, the Rules of the Scheme effectively excluded detached towers unless they were themselves listed places of worship holding at least six services a year. That has now effectively changed – although the Rules don’t yet actually say so. The following email was received from Diana Evans of English Heritage on 6th January.

And in case you’re not into all the abbreviations, DCMS is The Department for Culture Media and Sport under whose auspices The Listed Places of Worship Grant Scheme operates; LPWS is the Scheme itself; and Liberata are the people who administer the Scheme on behalf of the Department.


“A stand-alone bell tower which exists for the sole or main purpose of calling to prayer should be treated as if it were part of the fabric of the church itself, and so would be eligible for a grant.”

This is the statement from DCMS and Liberata that afternoon, so if any application for LPWS relating to the tower makes it clear that this is the situation then that should make the position clear re eligibility.

BB BellBoard
Central Council of Church Bell Ringers