How your Church could become a filming location

A Guest Blog by Dr Nancy Sheridan

Many historic houses, castles and cathedrals are used as filming locations for feature films and television dramas. However, the number of such locations is finite, and the media are always looking for new locations.  Churches, chapels and meeting houses could be suitable locations and this could provide a new source of income for places of worship. In a Guest Blog Architectural historian and adviser Dr Nancy Sheridan explains how her work for Heritage4Media could offer help to churches seeking new income to pay for maintenance and repairs.

Heritage4Media (H4M) recently carried out 5 years of exhaustive research assessing the impact of the media sector to the sustainability of our built heritage.

Great Expectations PosterThis research not only revealed the enormous economic benefits and the amount of cash coming into the heritage sector from the film and television industries, but also identified that there was no communication channel between the heritage and media sectors, despite a clear reliance between the two.

Hence historic building owners who needed income for repair bills, and film professionals who needed new spaces to push their creative boundaries, could not find each other. There are of course location agencies that offer this service, however, the research also revealed that filmmakers are becoming far less able, or inclined, to pay vastly expensive location agency fees.

H4M is therefore now in the process of creating the most transparent communication network between historic buildings of all forms and functions, and the global film, television, and broadcasting industries.

Linking the media to buildings

H4M is absolutely not a location agency, i.e. we do not have vast databases of long forgotten clients, and more importantly, we do not charge the media fees for linking them to our buildings which is why we are being so well received.

Rather, we are a team of architectural experts and film advisors with a passion for sustaining our built heritage and the knowledge and experience to raise the profile of historic buildings to the media sector, particularly privately owned sites and ecclesiastical centres that often get overlooked in favour of institutionally-owned properties.

We recently met with the Head of Heritage Policy in Whitehall, and presented the findings of the research, and the aims and objectives of H4M, all of which were very well received. Equally, key individuals who run the guilds and bodies that represent the global filming industries are also fully engaged with what we are doing, and have described H4M as a “specialist”, “niche” resource that “will become a major addition to the international film industry”.

Help for your fabric find?

heritage 4 media

heritage 4 media

However, there must be an element of proactivity in order to make this happen. Therefore if you wish to consider the media sector as a channel towards your fabric fund, please get in touch with Dr Nancy Sheridan at H4M on 01666 822436 / 07736 364722, or Christopher Edwards on 07858 944438

Helping churches with online fundraising

The UK’s churches are being offered a chance 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.

Babworth All Saints

Babworth All Saints

Churches, chapels and meeting houses are eligible if their denomination is a member of Churches Together in Britain and Ireland and meet JustGiving’s eligibility requirements concerning charitable status. There is more information and an application form online

The fundraising partnership has been 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. It is expected to 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.


Eligible places of worship will get to the JustGiving platform, saving a monthly £15 subscription fee. Churches that already have a JustGiving subscription are also eligible to take advantage of the scheme but JustGiving subscription fees already charged will not be refunded.

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.

60th anniversary

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 charity’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.

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