£596,000 Christmas funding boost for 36 churches

Published: Wednesday, December 14, 2016

 

Churches and chapels in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland are set to benefit from rescue funding of £596,000 from the National Churches Trust.

They include: St Agnes and St Pancras, Toxteth Park, the ‘noblest Victorian Church in Liverpool’, Paisley’s Methodist Central Hall, the last remaining intact Central Hall in Scotland, Our Lady Help of Christians, a pioneering Roman Catholic church in Birmingham built of glass and concrete and May Street Presbyterian church in Belfast, a classical Georgian building built in 1829, situated in the Linen Conservation Area.

The funding will help pay for urgent roof and other structural repairs and for the installation of kitchens and toilets to allow churches to be used for community activities.

11 of the churches being helped are on the Historic England ‘At Risk’ Register.

The National Churches Trust supports church buildings of all Christian traditions and the latest grants benefit Church of England, Roman Catholic, Church in Wales, Methodist, United Reformed and Presbyterian places of worship.

Cornerstone Grants

Five of the churches have been awarded National Churches Trust Cornerstone Grants which are made possible through the generous support of the Pilgrim Trust, as well as donors and supporters, other trusts and foundations and the many places of worship and individuals who support our programmes.

The churches receiving Cornerstone Grants are: Our Lady Help of Christians Church, Kitts Green, Birmingham; Cubert Church, Cubert, Cornwall; St Thomas, Exeter; St Mary Magdalene, Paddington, London and Paisley's Methodist Central Hall.

Cinnamon Network

Four churches and chapels also receive a National Churches Trust micro-grant to set up a Cinnamon Network Recognised Project. The micro-grants will allow churches to set up a social action project such as CAP Money Courses, Make Lunch and Parish Nursing.  The Cinnamon Network is a charity that works with churches to help those most at need in their communities.

Huw Edwards, Vice President of The National Churches Trust said:

“I'm delighted that this Christmas the future of 36 UK churches and chapels is being safeguarded thanks to a £596,000 rescue package from the National Churches Trust. The funding will help ensure that more churches and chapels can continue to flourish at the heart of their communities by safeguarding their architecture and making sure their facilities are up to date.”

“At the heart of the nation’s history, churches and chapels are some of the UK's best loved local buildings. But their future is not guaranteed”

“When people visit a church or chapel for a carol service or even just walk past a church on the way to do the Christmas shopping, I urge them to think about how they can help ensure that churches can remain open and in good repair.”

“Everyone can make a contribution to the future of the UK's churches and chapels by volunteering to help look after these precious buildings. If you’ve got practical skills you could help clear drains and gutters, if you are a good communicator you could help show people the history and architecture of a local church or you could simply be a good neighbour and keep an eye out for vandals or thieves.”

“Churches and chapels may be historic buildings, but they can be part of our future, too.”

FULL LIST OF CHURCHES AWARDED NATIONAL CHURCHES TRUST GRANTS FOLLOWS BELOW

ENGLAND

BIRMINGHAM

DUDLEY ROAD, St Patrick, B18 7QN

Roman Catholic - Grade II

Awarded a £20,000 National Churches Trust Repair Grant to help fund a project to carry out repairs to the Nave and North aisle roof and to stonework and to replace rainwater goods.  The roof and rainwater goods are the 1890s originals and have gone far beyond their useful life.

The repairs to the roof will secure the future of this church and ensure that it continues to serve an important role in the community, especially for visitors and patients of the nearby hospital.

St Patrick's Roman Catholic Church is a large, Gothic style building, built in red brick. Designed by Dempster & Heaton of Birmingham, the church was built by respected local firm John Bowen & Sons who later went on to build the Victorian Law Courts, Edgbaston Assembly Rooms and the Birmingham Meat Market. The church opened in 1895.

The interior in particular is of high quality and richly furnished. At the east end of the chancel is an elaborate high altar and reredos. The altar is stone, alabaster and coloured marble with a carved panel of the ‘pelican in her peity’ at its centre. The reredos is carved stone relief panels, angels and crocket details. The sanctuary floor is paved with a mixture of modern marble and historic Minton tiles.

Due to many parishioners being shift workers from the hospital, the building is open as early and as late as possible to accommodate their needs. The church is used by a wide range of local, vibrant and diverse groups, including Vietnamese, Filipino and African communities. There is a daily Mass. Due to the church’s close proximity to the A&E hospital department, it offers a valuable place for anybody needing a place of quiet reflection, in particular those who are grieving the loss of a loved one.

BIRMINGHAM

KITTS GREEN, Our Lady Help of Christians, B33 0AU

Roman Catholic - Grade II*

A National Churches Trust £40,000 Cornerstone Grant to help fund urgent repairs to the roof and to rainwater goods.

Gilbert Scott's Our Lady Help of Christians is a Grade II* church in the centre of Kitts Green, Birmingham. Built in 1966-7, it is described by Historic England's Elain Harwood as “...one of the few churches of the late 1960's to be built with the ambition and panache of the first half of the decade.”

Our Lady was built to designs by Richard Gilbert Scott who had inherited the commission from his late uncle Adrian Gilbert Scott. The church was built after the Second Vatican Council to meet the needs of the new liturgy – it is T-shaped on plan, and all members of the congregation sit within 50 feet of the altar. The church was listed Grade II in 1999 and upgraded to II* in March 2016. Gavin Stamp of the C20 Society described it in their '100 Buildings 100 Years' campaign as “one of the most successful modern Roman Catholic churches in England”. The church is little altered since its opening.

This year the church is beginning to mark its 50th Jubilee.  This building is not only used for worship but as a focal point for the community. The church supports a range of age diverse community groups, with a high proportion of attendees coming from India and the Philippines. There is also a thriving youth group, and activities provided for many older local people who may otherwise be at risk of social isolation.  Repairing the church and making it safe and watertight will enable its continued use by the wider community.

When Our Lady was built in 1966-7 it was created from the best materials available at the time; however, as the building was of such an innovative design some of the methods used had never been fully tested and its durability was perhaps a secondary consideration. The combination of glass and concrete have been stressed by external factors such as high rainfall and the building’s position directly under the flight path of Birmingham Airport – windows shake when aeroplanes fly over.

CORNWALL

CUBERT, Cubert Church, TR8 5EZ

Diocese of Truro - Anglican - Grade I

On the Historic England ‘Heritage at Risk’ Register

Awarded a £40,000 National Churches Trust Cornerstone Grant to help fund a project to carry out urgent roof, tower and other structural repairs.

St Cubert’s is a village church, open to all. The repair work will keep the church dry and prevent further damp and make the building safe for use and sustainable for the future.

The site of Cubert Church has been a place of worship since 700 AD. Started in the 14th century, the church has undergone various restorations, not least in the mid 1800s after lightning struck both the tower and the spire. The church is unusual in that its spire and tower are more or less equal in height. It is a rare example of a rural Cornish church that hasn't had a major Victorian restoration, and retains many original features.

DERBYSHIRE

DERBY, St Thomas, DE23 6QF

Anglican - Grade II

On the Historic England ‘Heritage at Risk’ Register

Awarded a National Churches Trust £15,000 Community Grant to help fund a project to install kitchen and toilet facilities to increase community activities to engage with the local deprived neighbourhood.

St Thomas' was founded in 1881 through financial support of the Revd and Mrs Alfred Olivier and is dedicated to Mrs Olivier's father Archdeacon Thomas Hill. The Olivier family is related to Sir Laurence Olivier. The church was designed by the London architect Joseph Peacock.

The building is an important landmark in Normanton and Pear Tree. It is used by the national charity FareShare to store good quality surplus food from the food industry rather than it being sent to landfill. Two tonnes of food a fortnight is brought to St. Thomas where it is distributed to charities and organisations working with those in need.

DEVON

EXETER, St Thomas, EX4 1AP

Diocese of Exeter - Anglican - Grade I

On the Historic England ‘Heritage at Risk’ Register

Awarded a £40,000 National Churches Trust Cornerstone Grant to help fund a project for urgent repairs to external stonework, internal plasterwork, ceiling and the installation of a servery.

The church has a fascinating history and the project will help improve heritage engagement and encourage more people to use the building.

St Thomas’ was built on the present site on land given by the monks of Cowick and consecrated in 1405 to replace a previous chapel destroyed by flood. The church was destroyed by fire in 1645 during the Civil War, there being a fear that it would be fortified and used against the city. The third and existing church was built during the time of the Commonwealth and opened in 1657.

St Thomas remains an important focus at the heart of a vibrant community, in an area with significant deprivation. It provides much-needed amenities for community groups and all sorts of activities alongside its worship, pastoral care and Christian witness. It’s often visited by local historians, amateur genealogists and tourists.

 

MEETH, St Michael & All Angels Church, EX20 3EP

Diocese of Exeter - Anglican - Grade II*

Awarded an additional £10,000 National Churches Trust Repair Grant to pay for a project that has already started to carry out urgent repairs to its tower and to re-lay the nave floor and which received a £10,000 National Churches Trust Repair Grant in June 2015.

St Michael & All Angels Church is a beautiful rural church. Recent archaeology showed evidence of an earlier Saxon church on the site. Although restored and refitted in 1893 the building is packed with history. It has retained many of its original Norman features with additions from the 14th and 15th centuries. The building is surrounded by a large, open churchyard.

The church has four listed bells, two of which are medieval, and the other two are rare examples of Johannes Stadler’s 18th century work. They are rung regularly for services. 

New people are encouraged to learn how to ring the bells and they are an excellent way of involving more people in the life of the church.

GLOUCESTERSHIRE

GLOUCESTER, St Mary de Crypt, GL1 1TP

Diocese of Gloucester - Anglican - Grade I

Awarded a National Churches Trust £20,000 Community Grant to help fund a project to install and refurbish toilets, install a heating system, renew electrical installations and lighting, and install an easy-going stair, platform lift, glazed entrance lobby, level floors, art room with kitchen and coffee point.

Currently the church can only be used in the warmer 6 months of the year because of a lack of heating, and visitors have to go over the road to a pub to use toilets.  With the provision of toilet facilities, along with heating, a new electrical system and lighting, the church will be warm, well-lit, accessible to most people, including wheelchair users, and suitable for use as a public building.    

The church also receives a £2,000 National Churches Trust Micro-Grant in partnership with the Cinnamon Network micro-grant to help set up a Cinnamon Network recognised social action project to help local people.

St Mary de Crypt is prominently positioned in a busy shopping area on a key tourist route from Gloucester Docks to the Cathedral, and is located in the City Centre Conservation Area. It contains a stunning interior.

Of Norman origin, the church is important for its connections to Llanthony Priory, Gloucester. It was rebuilt in the Perpendicular style in the C14th in order to display the Priory's wealth, and contains important fabric and fittings from this period.

The church has a range of important connections to historical events in Gloucester, including being used as an ammunitions store during the English Civil War. Robert Raikes, the founder of the Sunday School Movement, is buried in a side chapel. The pulpit and sounding board from which George Whitefield, one of the founders of Methodism, preached his first sermon remains at the church.

HERTFORDSHIRE

STEEPLE MORDEN, St Peter and St Paul, SG8 0NJ

Diocese of Ely - Anglican Grade II*

Awarded a £15,000 National Churches Trust Repair Grant to fund roof repairs to prevent further interior damage to this well-used, rural church and to allow it to continue its wide range of community activities, and to complete repairs following lead-theft.

The church has stood as a focal point in the centre of the village of Steeple Morden for generations. The oldest parts, the nave arcades and font, date from the late 13th century, with the north and south aisles and south porch being added in the 14th century. The original spire collapsed in 1625 destroying much of the chancel. This was rebuilt in the 19th century with a tower and spire over the south porch.

Making the building weather-proof will enable plans for the installation of a kitchen and toilet to go ahead. The repairs will ensure the people of the village are provided with a church suitable for the wide range of activities for which it is used.

Within the tower is a peal of six bells, and there is an organ adjacent to the choir. The church is generously proportioned for a small town, and is the largest publicly-usable space in the surrounding area.

LEICESTERSHIRE

TWYCROSS, St James the Greater, CV9 3PJ

Diocese of Leicester - Anglican - Grade I

Awarded a £10,000 National Churches Trust Community Grant to help fund the installation of a toilet and a kitchen servery.

Currently the church has no toilet facilities whatsoever and uses one electric kettle on a flat board to produce basic refreshments, with no storage or cleaning facilities. The new facilities will benefit all users of the church, the local school and wedding and funeral attendees and also attract new visitors.

The parish church of St James dates from the 14th century with a 15th century tower. The church was restored in 1840 and presented with a number of stained glass panels that had originally come from Sainte-Chapelle in Paris, Saint-Denis near Paris, Le Mans cathedral, and Saint-Julien-du-Sault in Burgundy.

The church was restored in the 1840s and contains architectural memorials to Lord Howe, who sponsored the restoration, and early Victorian armourial stained glass by Thomas Willement, showing the arms of Queen Adelaide with the 21 German States. On the south side is a large window with the arms of the Curzon family as a central piece.

TUGBY, St Thomas Becket, LE7 9WD

Diocese of Leicester - Anglican - Grade II*

On the Historic England ‘Heritage at Risk’ Register

Awarded a £15,000 National Churches Trust repair grant to fund a project to carry out urgent tower repairs.

Once the repairs are completed, the building will be draft proof and watertight, protecting ancient internal timbers from decay, and will no longer be on the Historic England ‘At Risk' register. In addition, the church’s Natterer's bat colony habitat will be protected.

Tugby is within the conservation area of High Leicestershire. The Grade II* church sits on a hilltop surrounded by the churchyard and has been a Christian place of worship since it was built in the 11th century by a great Saxon King named Tochi, after which the village is named.

The lower tower is pre-Conquest. The upper two levels are early Norman, commanding a 360 degree view of surrounding countryside. The remaining building dates from the 14th century.

LIVERPOOL AND MERSEYSIDE

NEW BRIGHTON, Ss Peter, Paul and Philomena, CH45 9LT

Roman Catholic - Grade II

On the Historic England ‘Heritage at Risk’ Register

Awarded a £10,000 National Churches Trust Repair Grant to fund urgent repairs to the roof and rainwater of two side chapel areas, which have worsened significantly since they were identified for urgent repairs in 2013.  The National Churches Trust has funded two previous phases of work at the church in 2013 and 2015.

A major Wirral landmark, this church's majestic dome is visible from afar. Fr. Thomas Mullins, a determined priest, raised money to build this basilica-like church during the depression, for the fashionable New Brighton seaside resort with its growing Catholic population.

The Sacred Heart Basilica in Lisbon inspired Fr. Mullins who engaged E. Bower Norris to design the church. Architecturally it owes much to Lutyens' famous unused design for Liverpool Cathedral, evident in the use of brick with spare stone dressings and in the design of the domes.

The church is built in a Roman baroque form, plain nave and high altar of beautiful Italian marbles, reflecting the 1930s fashion for subtle pale greens and creams colours. The Lady Altar has a strong blue lapis lazuli front and the Sacred Heart Altar is fronted with red stone. Fr Mullins brought a number of beautiful C17th Portuguese statues to the church, that of the Virgin Mary being particularly fine.

During the Second World War, sailors returning from Atlantic convoys knew the church as The Dome of Home, signifying safety from German U-boats.

The church was closed in 2008 due to the cost of repairs, but following an enthusiastic local campaign it reopened in 2012 when the Bishop of Shrewsbury established it as a national Shrine Church, cared for by the Institute of Christ the King, an international order of priests.

TOXTETH PARK, St Agnes and St Pancras, L17 3BA

Diocese of Liverpool - Anglican - Grade I

On the Historic England ‘Heritage at Risk’ Register

Awarded a £20,000 National Churches Trust Repair Grant to help fund a project to carry out urgent roof repairs, replace rainwater goods and repair high level stonework.

The replacement of the defective roof and rainwater goods will make the building watertight, preserving both the historic fabric and the priceless contents of the church from further deterioration. Once the repairs are complete the church will be a local haven for reflection, contemplation and prayer.

St Agnes and St Pancras was described by the architectural expert Nikolaus Pevsner as “the noblest Victorian Church in Liverpool”. John Loughborough Pearson designed the church along similar lines to Truro Cathedral; it was completed in 1885.

Situated in the Sefton Park Conservation Area, the exterior is of red brick with sandstone dressings and a roof of red terracotta tiles. Founder Douglas Horsfall wanted a church which would “most readily bring a man to his knees”, and the interior has a breathtaking impact upon visitors. It is of Caen stone and the stonework is of the highest order, particularly the carved frieze in the apse and the humorous grotesques added by Horsfall in 1910.

The church itself is used almost daily for worship, as well as regular concerts and musical events. The church is an active and enthusiastic participant in the annual Heritage Open Days. The Ethiopian Orthodox parish of St Tekklehayamanot uses the church for its weekly liturgy and monthly Masses.

LONDON

CATFORD, St Laurence, SE6 2TW

Diocese of Southwark - Anglican - Grade II

Awarded a £10,000 National Churches Trust Repair Grant to help fund a project to pay for repairs to the church’s spectacular windows and also to its roof.

The repairs will mean an end to the church having to get out buckets when it rains. The pews beneath the leaking windows will no longer need protecting, and the floor will no longer suffer from flooding. There will also no longer be the worry that lumps of glass could fall onto the heads of members of the congregation.

Built in 1968, St Laurence's is a spectacular octagonal church with a pentagonal Lady Chapel and large community centre. In the Culverley Green Conservation Area, its domed roof with central oculus is supported on concrete portal frames. Beneath the dome, seven 12 metre spans of vibrant ‘Dalles de Verre’ - coloured glazing - create a glorious sense of light-filled space, reverent and yet intimate, that even on dull days lifts the spirits of congregation and visitors.

Its comfortable green leatherette pews embrace the sanctuary. The Profilit glazing, Granwood floor and interior layout, are all beautifully preserved. Representative of the best of 1960s religious architecture, it is a combination of immanent and transcendent, individual and collective. 

As well as religious services, the church hosts many activities including concerts, rehearsals, film screenings and public meetings. The adjacent community centre is a thriving community hub.

PADDINGTON, W2 5TF, St Mary Magdalene

Diocese of London - Anglican - Grade I

On the Historic England ‘Heritage at Risk’ Register

Awarded a £40,000 National Churches Trust Cornerstone Grant to help fund a project for the restoration of the historic fabric of the church building focusing on cleaning and restoring the stunning interior.

The church is also developing a new Heritage and Community wing in association with partners including the Paddington Development Trust and Westminster City Council’s Employment Programme.

Built in the 1860-70s by G.E. Street, architect of the Royal Courts of Justice, this Grade I Listed building is recognized as an outstanding example of neo-Gothic architecture and decoration. It is one of only fourteen Grade I listed Victorian churches in London and one of the finest by an architect whose work is universally recognised as one of the best of the age. This places it in the same category as St Paul's Cathedral or the Palace of Westminster.

The building has an almost completely intact internal decorative scheme of the highest quality, including the later addition of the Chapel of St Sepulchre by Sir Ninian Comper (1864-1960) in the undercroft and additional architectural contributions by Martin Travers (1886-1948). The construction of the church was motivated by social improvement as much as a spiritual mission and as such its place within its community has always been particularly important.

The church offers a range of services to the local community. The adjacent school uses the church as a flexible space with regular school musical activities taking place. It hosts the St Mary Magdalene Music Society that offers a varied programme of classical and choral concerts 4 times a year, attracting 12,000 visitors to the church.  It also acts as a collection point for the North Paddington Food Bank.

MANCHESTER

DIDSBURY, Christ Church URC, M20 6EE

United Reformed Church - Unlisted

Awarded a £10,000 National Churches Trust Community Grant to help fund a project to create new meeting room and kitchen and improve access, heating, and insulation.  Once completed, the new facilities will create a modern building for worship and community life with a welcoming atmosphere.

The church also receives a £2,000 National Churches Trust Micro-Grant in partnership with the Cinnamon Network micro-grant to help set up a Cinnamon Network recognised social action project to help local people.

STAND, All Saints, M45 6GN

Diocese of Manchester - Anglican - Grade I

On the Historic England ‘Heritage at Risk’ Register

Awarded a £10,000 National Churches Trust repair grant to help fund a project to stabilise the church’s tower, repair corner pinnacles and louvres and carry out repointing work.  Once the tower is safe, bell ringing will again be able to take place at the church.

All Saints is a Grade I listed building and is considered to be of exceptional interest. All Saints' Church was built in 1826 to the designs of a then youthful Charles Barry, best known for the rebuilding of the Houses of Parliament during the mid-19th century. This was Barry's first commission.

It is an early Commissioners' Church built to celebrate the defeat of Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815.

The architectural style is gothic revival, and it is rectangular in form with five bays, a canted apse to the east end and a tall tower to the west end. All Saints' can be picked out in the landscape from several miles away. The building is a focus for Christian worship for the local community as well as being of historical and architectural significance.

NORFOLK

MARSHAM, All Saints, NR10 5RB

Diocese of East Anglia - Anglican - Grade I

On the Historic England ‘Heritage at Risk’ Register

Awarded a £15,000 National Churches Trust Repair Grant to pay for urgent tower stonework and roof repairs. Once the tower is repaired, bell ringers will be allowed to start ringing again.

In addition to worship, the church is used for school plays, exhibitions, coffee mornings, craft fairs, plant sales, concerts, and operates a "bring and buy" bric-a-brac stall which is very popular with visitors.

All Saints, Marsham, is a Grade I listed building standing in a small village. It dates from early 14th century, though much of the building is 15th century. Built of flint with lime mortar and stone dressing, it is roofed with slate. The tower carries a fine ring of 8 bells.

An interesting historical connection lies in the 17th century incumbency of Revd Samuel Oates. His son Titus Oates was the notorious conspirator and perjurer of the 'Popish Plot'.

The church has many beautiful features including a rood screen thought to be dated 1507, a "seven sacrament" font (one of only 29 in England, dated about 1467), painted board of James I Royal Coat of Arms, and carved angels in the roof beams. Two small medieval glass window lights depict an elephant and a unicorn - the only such examples in East Anglia.

SHROPSHIRE

BISHOPS CASTLE, St John the Baptist , SW9 5AF

Diocese of Hereford - Anglican - Grade II*

Awarded a £10,000 National Churches Trust Community Grant to help fund a project to install a kitchen, servery and toilets.

The kitchen and toilet project will greatly enhance the space for community use. It will be of particular help to older people and people with disabilities, for whom the lack of basic facilities is a significant disincentive to use the building for worship and other activities.

The first church known to have been on the present site dated from 1291. However, most of that building was rebuilt to a Victorian style in 1860, leaving only the substantial square tower unaltered.

The present church consists of the chancel with pentagonal apse; north and south transepts; clerestoried nave with three aisles; a porch on the north side; a side chapel and clergy vestry; and the tower with a belfry.

Within the tower is a peal of six bells, and there is an organ adjacent to the choir. The church is generously proportioned for a small town, and is the largest publicly-usable space in the surrounding area.

STAFFORDSHIRE

HANLEY, All Saints, Joiners Square, ST1 3ER

Diocese of Lichfield - Anglican - Grade II

On the Historic England ‘Heritage at Risk’ Register

Awarded a £20,000 National Churches Trust Repair Grant to carry out urgent roof repairs and to replace rainwater goods. Having suffered from a lack of maintenance for a number of years and been at threat of closure, this church is now on the cusp of an exciting period of redevelopment. Urgent repairs will prevent further deterioration and help the church develop as a centre for performance, exhibitions and education.

Part funded by Alfred Meakin, a local potter, All Saints Church was rebuilt in 1911 on the site of the mid-19th century church, and is a good example of Gerald Horsley's work. 

The church, which is close to the Emma Bridgewater factory,  is among the largest churches in the Potteries and is a focal point for Joiners Square, a community that had major mining and sanitary ware manufacture until the late 20th century. The area has a long history as a settlement at a main crossroads in Stoke-on-Trent.

The church has significant memorials to the First World War, including the large “East” window in the chancel, the triptych on the main altar and the memorial to the North Staffs regiment. It also has fine embroidery from the Leek Embroideries Guild.

TUNSTALL, Sacred Heart Church, ST6 6EE

Roman Catholic - Grade II

Awarded a £10,000 National Churches Trust repair grant to help fund a project to carry out repairs to the roof and rainwater goods and to repoint stonework. The repairs will help realise plans to convert the crypt and encourage wider community use.

The stone fabric of Sacred Heart Church is generally in good condition. However the roofs are deteriorating badly and need urgent work to prevent further water damage to the fine interior which is richly decorated with inlay and mosaic.

Ruth Smeeth MP said:

“Repairs will enable this beautiful church to continue being a local focal point serving the public, making a positive contribution to the surrounding community and to the nearby Tunstall Town Centre.”

Sacred Heart is a major building in the Tunstall Park Conservation area and as such is at the heart of efforts to regenerate Tunstall town centre. The Tunstall mission started from Cobridge in 1853 in a dual purpose school/chapel dedicated to St Mary. A new church was built in 1869 and remained in use until 1930 when the present church was opened by Archbishop Downey of Liverpool, who described the building as 'a miracle of beauty'.

The architect, JS Brocklesby also designed the nearby St Joseph's, Burslem (which received a £40,000 Cornerstone Grant from the National Churches Trust in December 2015), as well as St Oswald & St Edmund, Ashton-in Makerfield. He was reportedly dismissed by the Parish Priest Fr PJ Ryan, who continued as clerk of works himself, using unemployed parishioners in the construction.

Much of the stained glass and woodcarving was created by young parishioners under the guidance of Gordon Forsyth, Director of the Burslem School of Art. The church was built on a raft foundation to avoid the danger of subsidence. The interior is Romanesque and includes items bought abroad by Fr Ryan.The body of the church consists of three bays, each covered by a dome.

SUFFOLK

RENDLESHAM, St Gregory the Great, IP12 2QY

Diocese of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich - Anglican - Grade I

Awarded a £5,000 National Churches Trust Community Grant to help fund a project to fund Install kitchen and toilet. There has been no major investment in the church since the 1930s and the project will be a significant improvement to the church allowing it to be used more widely for additional volunteering, cultural and community activities.

This project will also help the church engage with visitors who wish to visit the newly discovered "Palace of the Kings" - the physical area where the Sutton Hoo kings lived; St Gregory's is the site of their place of worship. The church is the only publicly accessible building in the area and is therefore perfectly placed to tell the story of one of the most important corners of Anglo-Saxon England.

St Gregory's is a Grade I listed medieval church in East Suffolk dating from the 1300s with an extraordinarily rich history: Rendlesham was named by Bede as a seat of the Wuffingas dynasty and St Gregory's is said to be the site of the church of King Raedwald (of Sutton Hoo fame), the Anglo-Saxon King who converted to Christianity. His church was said to also have included a pagan altar for his Queen who refused to convert with him.

Following the recent archaeological discovery of the Anglo-Saxon "Palace of Kings" at Rendlesham, Professor Scull of Cardiff University called it “one of the most significant Anglo-Saxon sites in the country”.

WARWICKSHIRE

MONKS KIRBY, St Edith, CV23 0RE

Diocese of Coventry - Anglican - Grade I

Awarded a £10,000 National Churches Trust Community Grant to fund a project to install toilets and a kitchen.

The new facilities will enable increased community use of the church and inspire more people to value and enjoy the building. In 2017, the church will be 940 years old, and installing essential facilities will help provide for the comfort of the local community and congregation.

St Edith's Church is Grade I listed. It dates from 1077 when Geoffrey de la Guerche rebuilt the church and gave it as a priory to the Benedictine Abbey of St Nicolas in Anjou in France. Built into the north wall at the west end is the badly mutilated head and shoulders of a large stone effigy which may be Saxon. The church was substantially rebuilt in around 1380 and, in 1415, Henry V transferred the priory to the Carthusian order of the Isle of Axholme, Lincolnshire.

The earliest records of the church bells dates from 1552 and the oldest bell currently surviving dates from 1390. The porch and priest's room above are 14th century. The nave and tower were re-built in the 14th and 15th centuries with an octagonal spire added: this blew down on Christmas night 1722.

In the Reformation, King Henry VIII confiscated the assets of the priory, granting the advowson to Trinity College Cambridge in December 1546. The interior of the church was restored in Victorian times: the Baptistry windows are by Hardman and date from this period, as do the other stained glass windows.

WILTSHIRE

CASTLE COMBE, St Andrew SN14 7HT

Diocese of Bristol - Anglican - Grade I

Awarded a £10,000 National Churches Trust Community Grant to help fund a project to build an extension with a kitchen and a disabled toilet.

Located in the picturesque village of Castle Combe, St Andrew’s provides the largest open meeting space in the village but it is often underused, primarily due to its lack of basic amenities.

St Andrew's sits at the very heart of Castle Combe village, and as such is held in huge affection by the local community. There is a strong determination both to secure the building for future generations, and to make it a community focus and a welcoming meeting place for the 21st century.

The addition of a small kitchen and disabled toilet will significantly increase its use by the community by promoting its potential as a setting for concerts, gallery exhibitions, seminars and drama classes.  The work follows on from urgent roof repairs recently carried out and which received a £2,500 National Churches Trust Partnership Grant.

St Andrews is a Grade I listed church of 13th century origin with a north east chapel from the 14th century and a 15th century nave and tower. The church was extensively restored and rebuilt in the middle of the 19th century. There are fine examples of gargoyles. The elegant stained glass windows have been recently restored.

WEST MIDLANDS

WOLVERHAMPTON, St Mary & St John, WV2 4AD 

Roman Catholic - Grade II*

On the Historic England ‘At Risk Register’

Awarded a £20,000 National Churches Trust repair grant to help fund urgent repairs to stonework. 

Following the collapse of high level masonry on buttresses on the west elevation and window surrounds on the west and south elevations, work is urgently required to prevent further loss of fabric and risk to passers-by. The project will preserve the Grade II* listed building for future generations, address the issues of interior damage to the fabric of the building caused by water penetration, whilst also removing the church from the Heritage at Risk register.

St. Mary and St. John, situated in a deprived area of Wolverhampton, is a fine example of a mid-Victorian Catholic church. It is particularly notable for its rich interior.  Designed by Charles Hansom and built between 1851 and 1855, the main force behind the building of the church was John Hawksford, who later became Wolverhampton's first Catholic mayor.

The work was carried out by Wolverhampton builder, Richard Wullen. The church’s construction unfortunately coincided with the Crimean War, which led to delays and increased costs. The stone used from a local quarry was untested as a building material and the industrial atmosphere of the time played havoc with the fabric of the church. The poor quality of the stone revealed itself in flaking masonry and general decay. In 1907 it was rendered to prevent further deterioration with what was thought to be 'Metallic Cement'. This was removed in the 1990s due to how porous it is. When analysed it was found to be 'Sorel Cement', an artificial stone.

WORCESTERSHIRE

HALLOW, St Philip & St James WR2 6PW

Diocese of Worcester - Anglican  - Grade II*

Awarded a £17,000 National Churches Trust Repair Grant to carry out urgent repairs to the tower and spire. Many flying buttresses and pinnacles are in poor condition with stonework falling to the ground.

This will be the first phase of a large programme of repair works to preserve the fabric of this church. Open every day of the year, the church already has a thriving congregation. With the village about to double in size in the very near future it is important that the church is safe and is able to fulfil future needs.

There has been a church in Hallow since Saxon times. The current church was designed by Jeffrey Hopkins, a Worcester architect, and funded by Mr Wheeley-Lea, a director of Lea and Perrins Worcester Sauce. It was consecrated on 4 May 1869. Constructed mainly of local sandstone from a quarry at nearby Holt, the church was built in a grand scale for a village.

Many of the monuments in the church are from the previous church including that to Sir Charles Bell, the eminent surgeon who gave his name to 'Bell's Palsy'. He was also founder of the Middlesex Medical School.

KIDDERMINSTER, Baxter United Reformed Church DY10 2AA

United Reformed Church - Grade II

Awarded a £10,000 National Churches Trust Repair Grant to carry out urgent repairs to roofs, gutters and rainwater goods. If the work is not carried out a building of significant importance to the community of Kidderminster will be lost.

Baxter Church is at the heart of Kidderminster town centre in the Bull Ring and is situated within a conservation area. It is named after the influential Puritan preacher Richard Baxter. The church possesses Baxter's communion table.

The current building was erected in 1884/85 and is the fourth building on the site. The building is in the early decorated Gothic style of concrete faced with red sandstone and Boxgrove Bath stone dressing, with a spire 140 feet tall. There are several stained glass windows showing Charity ministering to children and extracts from Baxter's book “Saints Everlasting Rest".

The church runs a wide range of community activities including a Trussell Trust Foodbank, a job club, an older persons group and silver surfers internet café and provides advocacy and counselling for vulnerable people. The church hosts a community choir for all ages.

YORKSHIRE

BOLTON PERCY, All Saints  YO23 3TX

Diocese of York - Anglican - Grade I

On the Historic England ‘Heritage at Risk’ Register

Awarded a £20,000 National Churches Trust Repair Grant to help fund a project to re-roof the nave and aisles, and to repair roof timbers, parapets, gutters and flashing.

Nestled in the quiet North Yorkshire village of Bolton Percy, All Saints is an old church with a long history and a big heart. Set in a peaceful, tranquil churchyard All Saints' was erected in the 15th century on the site of an earlier church and consecrated in 1424.

Notable features within the church include: a Jacobean pulpit and oak box pews; a font that originates from Norman times with and a Jacobean cover; numerous monuments around the walls and set into the floor, notably commemorating the Fairfax family, prominent members of the nobility in the 17th and 18th centuries. Visitors come from far and wide to view the church’s fourteen stunning stained glass windows. All are beautiful works of art in themselves but the East Window and the Millennium Window attract the most attention.

The project will include recovering the roof over the nave, aisles, and tower together with repairs to roof timbers parapet gutters and flashings and structural oak timbers.

The work will protect the interior of the building from damage by the elements and therefore preserve the many historic features including monuments, furniture and the stained glass windows. It will also ensure that the building can be removed from the Historic England at Risk Register.

FINNINGLEY, Holy Trinity & St Oswald  DN9 3DA

Diocese of Sheffield - Anglican - Grade I

Awarded a £10,000 National Churches Trust Community Grant to help fund a project to install kitchen and disabled toilets, level flooring and improve heating.

The church is a Grade I listed building operating as a thriving parish church. It is important to the congregation, the parish and the local community of Finningley. It is the most important example of built heritage in the area and is the heritage heart of the community. With origins dating back to the 11th Century, the church was restored in 1885 by C. Hodgson Fowler.

The church plans to create a kitchen and new disabled toilets, level the flooring and improve the heating system. This will help the church to become a vibrant community church, combining worship with community activity.

Holy Trinity and St Oswald has identified a massive unmet need within the community focused on the elderly, isolated and those with or at risk of dementia.

Once the new community facilities have been installed, the church will work with partners such as the Alzheimer’s Society, Age UK, NHS and Local Authorities to implement an innovative programme of community projects rooted in food, memories and companionship and focused on the most vulnerable in the area.

HOWDEN, Sacred Heart  DN14 7DW

Roman Catholic - Grade II

Awarded a £14,000 National Churches Trust Repair Grant to fund urgent roof and gutter repairs. The works are required to make the building watertight and enable it to be used more widely by the local community.

Sacred Heart Church was built 1850-52 to the designs of the Architect J. A. Hansom of York, famed for his design of the 'Hansom Cab'. The church is Grade II listed and lies within a conservation area. The church is constructed in white brick with ashlar dressings and slate roof. Internally, the side altar has an intricately carved reredos. This altar started life in the original chapel at Everingham Hall and is considerably older than the Sacred Heart Church.

NORTHERN IRELAND

BELFAST

May Street Presbyterian Church BT1 4NU

Presbyterian - Grade A 

Awarded a £10,000 National Churches Trust Repair Grant to help fund a project to re-roof the building.

The church also receives a £2,000 National Churches Trust Micro-Grant in partnership with the Cinnamon Network to help set up a Cinnamon Network recognised social action project to help local people

May Street Presbyterian church was built in 1829 for the famous minister, Rev Henry Cooke. It is a classical Georgian building with the galleried church set over a basement and is now Grade A Listed.

A Binns organ was installed in 1914 and is still in regular use. The church is situated in the Linen Conservation Area of Belfast which was designated in 1992.

The felt parapet wall gutters and valleys which were installed in the 1960s which have failed. The church plans to scaffold the roof, remove the slated perimeter together with the felt valleys and parapet gutters, and replace this part of the roof with natural slate pitched roofing, lead valleys and lead parapet gutters. The work is urgently required to keep water out and avoid terminal decay of roof timbers, internal plasterwork and the Binns Organ. If the work is not carried out soon, the building could become unusable within one or two years.

The project will allow the continued use of the building for worship and other regular activities. Once the main roof is secure there are future plans to reopen the church’s basement café, to re-roof the Lecture Hall with a flat roof for a crèche and fitness training for the adjoining proposed office development and to use the building for conferences associated with the new development.

CAPPAGH, OMAGH, St Euegens, BT79 0AX

Diocese of Derry & Raphoe – Anglican, Grade B+

Awarded a £15,000 National Churches Trust repair grant to help fund a project to replace and treat roof timbers which have been attacked by woodworm and to re-slate the roof.

Cappagh has been an important Christian site from the 8th century. The Cappagh bell is now in the National Museum of Ireland in Dublin with a label attached 'The old bell of Cappagh Abbey Co Tyrone founded in AD 792'.

The present church was built in 1780.  Alastair Rowan in his 'Buildings of Northwest Ulster' described it as 'a pretty, Grecian Gothic Church, hall and tower type with a particularly elegant masonry spire, the plan following the earlier pattern for such churches with the tower contained’. An ornate timber trussed roof was added in 1917. The chancel, a three sided apse, was added in 1870.

In addition to being used for worship, the church is also used for concerts and charity events.

The project includes taking down the entire timber ceiling to expose extent of woodworm attack, taking out all roof timbers weakened by woodworm and replacing with sound treated timber. The church will be re-roofed in Bangor Blue and the timber ceiling will be replaced.

SCOTLAND

PAISLEY, Methodist Central Hall  PA1 1EP

Category B Listed

Awarded a £40,000 National Churches Trust Cornerstone Grant to renew roof areas at risk from dry rot and to renew and upgrade stonework, chimneys and windows.  The repairs will help to prevent the building falling into disrepair and ensure the future of the building as a heritage resource within Paisley.

Designed by architects Watson and Salmond in the Free Renaissance style and constructed in 1908, Paisley’s Methodist Central Hall is the last remaining intact Central Hall in Scotland.

Work is urgently required within the next two years to maintain the historic building in a structurally secure, wind and watertight condition.

The decline or loss of the building would be a risk to the town centre of Paisley and the Heritage cluster of the Town Hall, Paisley Abbey, St. Mirin's Cathedral and Methodist Central Hall and also have a significant negative impact on church architectural heritage in Scotland.

PERTH, Perth Methodist Church  PH2 8JN

Methodist - Scotland - Grade C

Awarded a £10,000 National Churches Trust Community Grant to help fund a project to create a community and cultural hub by increasing the number of toilets, refurbishing the kitchen, removing fixed seating and upgrading the heating.

Perth Methodist Church dates from 1879 and is now a city centre church surrounded by a mix of tenement flats, shops and commercial premises.

The church has a vision to develop as a community and cultural hub at the heart of Perth's city centre. The refurbishment programme will give greater flexibility, a more inviting environment and improved facilities for those who currently use the church and for a variety of new users and community-based activities. 

Additional ladies toilets will be provided, the kitchen will be completely refurbished and the removal of fixed seating and the levelling of the floor will allow for greater use of the building, not only for worship but also for current community-orientated activities. These include youth work, dancing, drama, concerts and public meetings.

WALES

CEREDIGION

ABERYSTWYTH, St Michaels and All Angels  SY23 2AU

Anglican – Diocese of St Davids – Grade II

Awarded a £10,000 National Churches Trust Repair Grant to fund repairs to the roof and rainwater goods.

The church also receives a £2,000 National Churches Trust Micro-Grant in partnership with the Cinnamon Network to help set up a Cinnamon Network recognised social action project to help local people.

Being highly exposed to south-westerly winds from the sea, the building suffers from storm damage and sustained severe damage in the winter storms of 2014. Interim repairs were undertaken, but large sections of the roof urgently need repair, as do the flat lead roofs which are causing leaking into the vestry, on the north side into the Lady Chapel, on the south side behind the organ, and into the office area. There are also urgent repairs/ replacement needed to the lead gullies, flashing and gutters.

St Michael and All Angels is a large Victorian Gothic church of 1889-90 standing on the site of earlier church buildings next to Aberystwyth castle overlooking the sea. The church has a large congregation, including many students.

The building is regularly used for events such as day conferences, worship groups and prayer meetings and also hosts concerts, school visits, and meals for students and other groups. The building is open daily and provides respite for visitors when in need.

The project will make the roof weatherproof, and so prevent leaks into the church building. This will solve the problem of damp, and secure the building for future use.

Once the roof is secure, St Michaels and All Angels aims to broaden the use of the building and provide more support to children, families, students and older people.

CARMARTHENSHIRE

DREFACH FELINDRE, St Barnabas, SA44 5UR

Anglican - Diocese of St David - Grade II

Awarded a £7,000 National Churches Trust Repair Grant to help fund repairs to the roof, gutters and windows and prevent further damage to the internal walls and ceilings.

The repair project will secure a long term and sustainable future for the church and community users. The improved condition of the building will create a more welcoming venue for musical evenings, exhibitions, coffee mornings and family history research.

St Barnabas' Church was built in 1862 for the second Earl of Cawdor. A tile depicting Lord Cawdor's coat of arms is mounted near the entrance.

It was built in order to provide a place of worship for workers at the woollen mills of Drefach, part of one of the main wool manufacturing centres in Wales at that time.

It was designed by the architect David Brandon of London and the builder was James Rogers of Tenby.

The church is Gothic in style. There is a pipe organ and a number of stained glass windows, including three apse windows of 1863 by Heaten, Butler & Bayne which are considered among the best of the period in the region.

GLAMORGAN

WICK, St James  CF71 7QG

Anglican - Diocese of Llandaff - Grade II*

www.llanilltud.org.uk/benefice/st-james/

Awarded a £8,000 National Churches Trust Repair Grant to fund repairs to the roof. Repairs to the roof will help to ensure that the building remains usable by the worshipping congregation and the wider community and create a welcoming environment. This will be particularly important as many new people are expected to use the church as a result of a new housing development.

The parish church of Wick is dedicated to St James the Great and dates from the 12th century. The church is built in the Early English style, although the oldest parts of the structure such as the chancel arch, the south door, and a small window in the chancel, all date from the 12th century. The altar has unusual niches on either side, which probably contained statues of St James and the Blessed Virgin Mary in centuries past.

The village school and playgroup are regular users of the church, which also hosts visits from inner-city schools from nearby Cardiff who come to Wick to learn about village life.

The church porch, which is never locked, houses a defibrillator which the entire village can use, as Wick cannot be reached within NHS target response times. St James' was the first church in Wales to have such a facility.