New Bedford and the surrounding SouthCoast communities are home to many amazing houses of worship that are integral parts of the local community. Some of them are in need of some attention, and one organization wants to provide the needed help.

The National Fund for Sacred Places is a program from an organization called Partners for Sacred Places, in collaboration with the National Trust for Historic Preservation, which just kicked off its grant period for 2022.

The fund is looking for community-minded congregations of historic places of worship that are in need of repair and that are actively involved in their communities.

"We want them to tell us the story and history of their house of worship, and more," said Jennifer Sandy, Field Director for the National Trust. "America's historic sacred places are cornerstones of the community. They add so much value to the community, not only because of their architectural and physical significance, but because they are centerpieces of community life."

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It's the only program of its kind in the country, that works to help many of the nation's most significant congregations repair and advance the care and use of their historic properties. In New Bedford, we're fortunate to have older, historic, and architecturally exceptional places of worship.

"We're also interested in what makes the house of worship important in the community and how they are actively involved in supporting the community," said Sandy. "It's not just a grant; it's not just some money to help repair your roof."

The organization works with the congregation of these sacred places by providing training, planning, technical assistance, capacity-building support and capital grants to congregants of all faiths for rehabilitation work on their historic facilities.

Houses of worship are urged to submit their Letter of Intent by March 7, 2022.

Since its inception in 2016, the National Fund has awarded over $9 million to 82 community-serving congregations representing 22 faith traditions in 36 states and the District of Columbia.

If you are interested in learning more about Fund for Sacred Places, watch an informational webinar on Wednesday, January 26 at noon, and visit FundforSacredPlaces.org for more details, including eligibility requirements, guidelines and online application.

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