What we do
The SRCT identifies churches at risk through lack of use, closure, or sale. We assess them for their architectural and historical significance to see which are of greatest importance to Scotland’s heritage. Most churches will be significant in some way or another – not least to the people who have worshipped there – and almost all will be capable of being reused in a positive way.
We identify those churches which need our particular expertise because of their cultural value. Safeguarding the finest churches requires a careful balance of conservation and regeneration: protecting the most important aspects of a building and at the same time giving a new life and purpose.
The SRCT takes ownership of these important historic churches and works with the local community and heritage professionals to make strong social, cultural and economic assets. We build connections between people and place and create a sense of ownership and pride in the environment. We do this by devolving everyday care of our churches to local people while providing the essential support and expertise needed to maintain buildings of national importance.
At the core of what we do is the preservation of Scotland’s rich heritage, but the churches in our care are not simply museum pieces and we want them to be used and enjoyed by people. We also want to pass them on to the next generation to use and enjoy, and to do this our churches must be sustainable.
For some of our churches sustainability can be achieved through developing low-impact uses such as cultural and community events which work well alongside tourism. These require little or no physical changes can generate sufficient income for a small building that is in a good state of repair to be maintained. Other churches present a greater challenge because of their scale, condition or location. In some cases it may be necessary to adapt all or part of a building in order to achieve sustainability. This is always done sensitively and appropriately and on the basis of a thorough understanding of the significance of the church and its history.
The SRCT makes all its churches freely available to everyone to visit, learn from, and enjoy. We want our churches to be beautiful and useful places that make a difference to people’s lives no matter who they are.