We fall under the overall governance of The Heritage Alliance, which is a company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales (no 4577804) and a registered charity (no 1094793).
Our particular affairs are looked after by a steering committee drawn from our members. This is chaired by Trevor Cooper.
The HRBA Development Officer is Becky Payne.
The Editor of the monthly newsletter is Lucy Jacob.
The Membership Secretary is Diana Coulter
Website support is provided by Janice Gooch
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The Chair of the HRBA is Trevor Cooper (0.1FTE). He retired some years ago from a career in business. He has had a life-long interest in church buildings, and has an especial interest in the future of historic churches.
In 2004 he published How do we keep our parish churches?, a short book which presented a range of objective facts and figures on the factors affecting the future of church buildings. In 2011 he jointly edited Pews, benches and chairs: church seating in English parish churches from the fourteenth century to the present, and in 2014 he edited For public benefit: churches cared for by Trusts, the first wide-ranging examination of the several hundred churches, some still in routine use, which are cared for by charitable Trusts.
He has been an external member since 2002 of the English Heritage Places of Worship Forum and its predecessor, and sat on the Southwark Diocesan Advisory Committee from 2003 until 2013. He is Chairman of Council of the Ecclesiological Society.
Becky Payne is Development Officer of the HRBA (0.2FTE). After a degree in archaeology from Durham University, she spent several years ‘digging’ her way round the world before joining Historic England (then known as English Heritage). Between 2003 and 2010, she was the Policy Officer in the Church Buildings Division, Church of England promoting and enabling the potential of church buildings as a resource for the whole community.
She is now working as a freelance consultant undertaking projects on different aspects of sustaining historic places of worship. This has included creating a web-based resource on the Arthur Rank Centre website for congregations of all denominations who are looking after rural places of worship and, on behalf of the Diocese of Hereford, updating a toolkit for places of worship who want to develop wider community use of their church building. She has also undertaken research on social enterprises within rural places of worship as part of an HLF funded project in partnership with the Plunkett Foundation to find out whether social enterprise can be an effective way of making rural places of worship more sustainable.
She provided the content for the book Churches for Communities, adapting Oxfordshire’s Churches for wider uses (Feb 2014) which told the stories of those, largely volunteers, who had undertaken major community and building project in 25 places of worship in Oxfordshire. She recently developed guidance for urban churches on behalf of the Diocese of London to encourage more of them to open their doors. She is currently project manager of a four year project evaluating the Heritage Lottery Fund’s Grants for Places of Worship Programme. She is also a consultant on the Open University led research project looking at how community-led design can help places of worship to more effectively engage with their communities and create more open, vibrant and sustainable places. She is a Trustee of the Churches Visitor and Tourism Association and since 2014, a member of the London DAC.
Lucy Jacob is Editor of the monthly HRBA newsletter. She is responsible for researching stories and developing content. Lucy currently works part-time for the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB) as their Training Officer, and also does one day a week as the Events and Marketing Coordinator at the UK National Committee of the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS-UK).
Diana Coulter is the Membership administrator who administrates our membership scheme as well as growing our membership. Diana has several years’ experience working with parochial church councils on faculty casework and grant aid, firstly at ChurchCare (2010-14) and currently at Artemis Heritage, where she is a partner. Diana is also researching the stained glass of Keith New, one of the Coventry Cathedral nave window designers. Her most recent achievement was to help an academy school in Yeovil win two grants to conserve stained glass panels by New. Diana has also volunteered for other membership societies.
Janice Gooch helps out with our website and social media. Janice is a building surveyor with considerable experience working with historic buildings including ones owned by the National Trust and currently the Church of England. Janice now runs her own business within Essex and surrounding counties, providing good, simple advice relating to heritage buildings to professionals and public by way of research, investigation and surveying. This includes writing Statements of Significance, Heritage Impact Assessments, as well as undertaking building and defects surveys, and project management support.