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Adapted from Episcopal News Service

Partners for Sacred Places and the National Trust for Historic Preservation have announced a $14 million National Fund for Sacred Places to assist churches in need of repair and restoration. Two Episcopal churches, Christ Church in Philadelphia and Trinity–St. Peter’s Church in San Francisco, are among the first 14 recipients.

The fund will provide up to $250,000 in capital grants, in addition to planning grants and an array of services, for at least 50 individual congregations from a diversity of faiths over four years.

Christ Church, Philadelphia

The National Fund for Sacred Places is a collaboration that builds on Partners for Sacred Places’ decades of work helping churches use best stewardship practices with their historic facilities in order to strengthen, serve, and celebrate their communities for the common good.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation is the nation’s leading preservation organization, with more than 60 years of advocacy and grant-making to preserve America’s diverse history.

The fund was launched with two grants totaling nearly $14 million from the Indiana-based Lilly Endowment Inc. Through this initiative, $10 million will be disbursed for capital improvements, with the remainder used for planning, technical assistance, coaching, and program oversight.

The initial group of grant recipients was announced Nov. 2 at Chicago’s historic Quinn Chapel A.M.E. Church, one of the recipients. These houses of worship will begin receiving some services immediately and will be eligible for a capital grant in the course of the next year.

“The National Fund culminates 28 years of partners’ work to affirm and support the civic value of America’s older churches,” said Bob Jaeger, president of Partners for Sacred Places. “We believe that the capital grants and other services provided by the Fund will encourage other donors and civic leaders to join our effort to preserve sacred places that anchor and serve our communities in powerful ways. The Fund also represents another important chapter in Partners’ long and productive relationship with the National Trust.”

Applications are now being accepted for the next round of grants, which will be awarded in the fall of 2017.

“We are delighted to join in this partnership with Partners and the Lilly Endowment to help more sacred places thrive, now and well into the future,” said Stephanie Meeks, president and CEO of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. “Churches are often both the oldest and most beautiful buildings in our communities. They are the rock that continues to sustain us as a people, bringing us together in service and worship.”

Details about the application process, eligibility requirements, and selection criteria are available by visiting the National Fund for Sacred Places.

Inaugural grant recipients include:

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