THE Government has set aside nearly £3 million for repairing churches and other ecclesiastical buildings over the next three years. Peter Shore, Secretary of State for the Environment, announced the decision last week and said that he was willing to deal with a limited number of applications before April, 1978, to avert danger to the fabric of buildings.
The scheme, first proposed last November, has been welcomed by the General Synod of the Church of England and the Churches' Main Committee, representing the other Churches. As well as providing State aid for Churches the scheme allows for consultation with the Secretary of State before a listed church is demolished.
The grants will be made on the recommendation of the Historic Buildings Committee and will be restricted to buildings of outstanding quality and proven financial need. Cathedrals will not be eligible for grants.
Wider role for Holy See in UN
THE United Nations Economic and Social Council has said that the Holy Sec may take part as a consultor in the meetings of all live of its regional commissions. The council makes recommendations to the UN General Assembly on educational, cultural, health and economic matters. It deals especially with questions of populations, drug abuse, women's status, human rights and aid to children. Previously the Holy See had been a consultor only on the regional commission for Europe. The resolution calls for Holy See participation in the regional commissions for Latin America, Africa, Western Asia and Asia and the Pacific. Since Pope Paul VI became Pope in 1963, Holy See participation in international gatherings of a social, development or political nature has trebled.
Time for Building on priests' agenda
THE National Conference of Priests will be holding its eighth annual conference in Birmingham from September 5 to 9. The 90 delegates from all the dioceses of England and Wales will spend the week at Newman College discussing the new document on pastoral strategy 'A Time for Building'.
Church gets Zaire schools back
THE Catholic Church in Zaire will resume management of its own elementary and secondary schools, which were nationalised several years ago, Vatican Radio reported this week.
Education authorities in neighbouring Tanzania want the mission schools which were nationalised four years ago to be taken over by the Church again. A major reason is that they are now in a bad state of repair.
Bolivia grant off
THE GOVERNMENT is to withdraw a £19 million grant to the Bolivian mining industry and allocate the money instead to projects which will benefit the poorest of the poor in Bolivia. Page 2
THE recent television appeal on behalf of CAFOD by Kieron Moore, the fund's projects director, has brought in more than £11,850 and donations are still coming in.