The C of E and Listed Places of Worship Schemes


The Church of England Scheme


There is a grant scheme for the conservation of organs and organ cases is available from the Church Buildings Council within the Church of England. Essentially, the scheme administers grants that are only available to Anglican churches, involving work to organs at least seventy years old and are rarely exceed £8,000 in total. More information can be found at the Churchcare website.


The Listed Places of Worship Grant Scheme

The Listed Places of Worship Grant Scheme provides for grants equivalent to the VAT on certain repairs to be refunded.

Where a pipe organ is a fixture or fitting in a Listed Building used principally and at least 6 times a year for Worship, the following are eligible:

  • Repair or maintenance to any part of the organ mechanism or casing, including the blowing plant.
  • Restoration undertaken as a result of repair need.
  • Inspection, which leads to eligible repair or maintenance.

Ineligible items are:

  • Addition of new pipes or removal of pipes for reasons other than repair. Other elective enhancements.
  • Relocation of organ (zero-rated for VAT at source).
  • Fitting of new organ (zero-rated for VAT at source).
  • Works on organs that are not fixtures or fittings, i.e. where they are mounted on a freestanding platform, fitted on castors, simply plugged into an electrical socket or designed to be moved.
  • Tuning other than after an eligible repair or maintenance.
  • Re-voicing where not necessitated by a repair.

‘Repair’ includes replacement in circumstances where restoration is either impractical or uneconomic. Thus replacement of a part or parts with the modern equivalent will constitute ‘repair’, e.g. worn-out switching with a microprocessor system.

Elective items (i.e. of choice), e.g. adding a new Tuba, do not come within the Scheme and do not qualify for relief.

Organ builders will be asked to provide a simple certificate identifying: those parts of the work that are repair, and the cost thereof.

This certificate is signed by the organ builder and given to the church to facilitate the claim for the grant. This should be done before the work commences. Once the certificate has been issued to the church the organ builder may issue staged invoices in the usual way, valuing repair work separately so that a grant can be claimed in respect of each eligible VAT payment. Full information and detail is available at