2 BCD SPECIAL REPORT ON HISTORIC CHURCHES 28 TH ANNUAL EDITION ANCIENT MONUMENTS SOCIETY rebrands as HISTORIC BUILDINGS & PLACES HERITAGE NOW TheMagazineofHistoricBuildings&Places| www.hbap.org.uk (01/2021) AUTUMN2021 IT’S TIME TO REINVIGORATE OUR HIGH STREETS TO BRING COMMUNITIES TOGETHER In 1924 when the Ancient Monuments Society (AMS) was founded, the main vehicles for heritage protection were the Ancient Monuments Board and successive Ancient Monuments Acts. However, since then the conservation world has evolved and today the term ‘ancient monuments’ fails to fully reflect the work of the AMS in sustaining, defending and promoting historic buildings and places of all types and ages, for the benefit of all. In July 2021, following a re-evaluation of the role of the organisation, the AMS trustees decided that a new name was needed to better reflect their work and to help to attract new members. The result, Historic Buildings & Places, was launched in October. The transition to Historic Buildings & Places coincides with the end of the AMS’s working partnership with the Friends of Friendless Churches. Trustees felt that this was the right time to change the way the society presents itself to the public and to the sector, while maintaining its commitment to NEWS REVIEW championing everyday heritage for all. Alongside the name change come a new logo and updated digital presence, which will include a refresh of the society’s social media channels and a brand-new website. The society is also launching its new quarterly members’ magazine Heritage Now , which is being published in full colour with the help of Cathedral Communications. Other tangible membership benefits include a series of events and an annual Journal , but perhaps the greatest benefit lies simply in being part of a campaigning organisation which champions historic buildings and places of all ages and types, and which works to provide a sustainable future for them. As one of the six statutory amenity societies, Historic Buildings & Places will continue to respond to both secular and ecclesiastical casework notifications in England and Wales. Visit www.hpab.org.uk to join the society and to keep abreast of the exciting work and events Historic Buildings & Places will deliver in its new guise. FRIENDS OF FRIENDLESS CHURCHES Until recently all members of the Ancient Monuments Society enjoyed membership of the Friends of Friendless Churches too. Now independent, FFC must attract new friends to help support its work, which centres on rescuing, repairing and maintaining redundant places of worship in England and Wales. There are 60 in its care so far, ranging from early medieval single cell structures to soaring 20th-century masterpieces. Without its help few of these buildings would still be open to the public, and some might not be here at all. In the past 12 months FFC has rescued five places of worship in England alone and as the rate of closure is predicted to increase in the coming years (see ‘Church Closures’, p4), its help is needed more than ever. FFC operates with just one and a half members of staff, and as its director, Rachel Morley points out, it receives no regular government funding in England and only a modest grant in Wales. “We believe that an ancient and beautiful church fulfils its primary function merely by existing. It is, in itself, and irrespective of the members using it, an act of worship. These buildings are the spiritual and artistic investment of generations, and they should survive for the benefit of future generations.” To discover how you can support FFC’s work, whether through membership or volunteering, visit friendsoffriendlesschurches.org.uk .