Help us award a £10,000 Friends Grant

 

Awarding grants to support churches carrying out repairs and installing new community facilities is at the heart of our work. 

Now, Friends of the National Churches Trust can help us in this vital work by choosing a church to which we can award a special Friends Grant of £10,000. 

We invited churches to whom we had awarded a Repair or Community Grant in 2016 to let us know if they needed any additional funding prior to starting work on their project. From those who replied, we shortlisted five.

Below, you can find out about each of the churches and how the Friends grant could help them. More pictures are available on our ExploreChurches page for each church.

Once you've found out about the churches, you can choose which one you would like to support by filling in the short form at the bottom of the page. 

To take part, you will need to enter your Supporter Number, which you can find at the top of correspondence from us. 

Voting closes at 5pm on Friday 2 June 2017. The successful church will be announced on our website on 3 July 2017

If you have any questions (or can't find your supporter number), please email us with your vote choice at info@nationalchurchestrust.org or phone 020 7222 0605.

Many thanks! 

 

 

1. St Mary de Crypt, Gloucester

St Mary de Crypt, a Grade I listed church, is located in the City Centre Conservation Area. Of Norman origin, it was rebuilt in the 14th century in the Perpendicular style as a display of the wealth of nearby Llanthony Priory. It boasts a stunning interior and contains important fabric and fittings from this period. The church was used as an ammunition store during the English Civil War. The pulpit and sounding board from which George Whitefield, one of the founders of Methodism, preached his first sermon remains at the church.

The church was awarded a £20,000 National Churches Trust Community Grant in December 2016 to help fund a project to install toilets and heating, a new electrical system and lighting, create a glazed entrance lobby, install a lift, level floors, and create an art room with a kitchen.

Part of a Heritage Lottery Funded Our Heritage project, the church will be warm, well lit and accessible. It will offer courses and workshops to strengthen the community with social, creative, and life-skills, of huge benefit to one of the most deprived wards in the country. There will also be cheap meeting spaces for local groups, and visitor numbers are predicted to quadruple. 

How the church would use the Friends Grant:

'The funds are for our growing vibrant community centre focused on arts and culture, part of our active Anglican church. The grant is needed to provide toilets - visitors currently use facilities in the pub across the road - and for heating so our church can be used for twelve months of the year instead of six, and to make the building accessible.'

Church website

St Mary de Crypt on ExploreChurches

 St Mary de Crypt

 St Mary de Crypt

 

St Mary de Crypt

 

2. St Thomas, Derby

St Thomas, which is Grade II listed, was founded in 1881 with the financial support of the Revd and Mrs Alfred Olivier, relatives of Sir Laurence Olivier. Lying in the heart of Derby, the stunning interior includes glittering mosaics, detailed carving, the lavish use of local alabaster, and a gallery of stained glass. It was designed by London architect Joseph Peacock - a so-called 'rogue' architect from the High Victorian era who combined traditional styles of architecture with the use of new materials.

St Thomas was awarded a £15,000 National Churches Trust Community Grant in December 2016 to help fund a Heritage Lottery Fund funded project to install kitchen and toilet facilities to increase community activities to engage local people. They also received 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. 

St Thomas is used by the charity FareShare to distribute surplus food to organisations working with those in need. Once the project is completed, the church will also run heritage open events; pop-up activities such as drop ins for refugees and advice for vulnerable people; and will produce interpretation materials so visitors of all ages can enjoy the building and its rich heritage. Already, engagement with their multi-cultural community has included working with a local arts group, producing a video, and hosting school visits.  

How the church would use the Friends Grant:

'We already have funds for a first phase of repairs from the Heritage Lottery Fund, and we are now looking to upgrade the electric, install toilets, and kitchen facilities. The Ancient Monuments Society have praised our conservation-led regeneration, which will include exciting projects to increase church engagement with our community.'

Church website

St Thomas on ExploreChurches

 St Thomas Derby

 

St Thomas Derby

 

St Thomas Derby

3. Ss Peter, Paul and St Philomena, New Brighton

A major Wirral landmark, this Grade II listed church's majestic dome is visible from afar. Architecturally, it owes much to Lutyen's famous unused design for Liverpool Cathedral. During the Depression, determined priest Father Thomas Mullins raised money to build this basilica-like church for the fashionable New Brighton seaside resort with its growing Catholic population. During the Second World War, sailors returning from Atlantic convoys knew the church as the Dome of Home, signalling 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, cared for by the Institute of Christ the King.

Since 2013, the National Churches trust has awarded three grants towards the phased repair programme totalling £40,000. A major two part project, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, is dealing with water ingress and its resultant damage and deterioration, whilst also expanding the facilities of the church for heritage engagement and community use.

Already, the Dome of Home has a Heritage Shop, runs regular tours, and hosts concerts. There have also been lectures for local university students. They are producing an audio tour for children, launching later this year, and working to increase engagement with local schools with an education pack. Wirral Council's Heritage Strategy promotes community engagement to help combat deprivation, and St Peter, St Paul and St Philomena is a big part of this.   

How the church would use the Friends Grant:

'Major urgent repairs have been taking place in recent years and additional funding is needed. High quotes for the project meant cutting down on the areas to be re-pointed, windows to be restored and concrete to be repaired in order to stay in budget. Additional funding will put this work back into the project. Since restoration to the church is being phased, the greater the area repaired now, the less damage from continued water ingress and less work to do in future projects.'

Church website

Ss Peter, Paul and St Philomena on ExploreChurches

Watch their video

 New Brighton

 

New Brighton 

New Brighton

 

 4. Methodist Central Hall, Paisley

Designed by architects Watson and Salmond in the Free Renaissance style in the early twentieth century, Paisley's Methodist Central Hall is the last remaining intact Central Hall in Scotland. It is listed Grade B and located within a conservation area. 

Paisley Methodist Central Hall was awarded a £40,000 National Churches Trust Cornerstone Grant in December 2016 to renew roof areas at risk from dry rot and to renew and upgrade stonework, chimneys and windows. The repairs form part of a Heritage Lottery Fund funded project which will ensure the future of the building as a heritage resource within Paisley.

The building is in regular use for a range of different activities. Thousands of new users will be able to use the building with the completion of the project. It will be far more accessible to tourists and pilgrims, as well as providing improved facilities for those who use the space. Visitors will discover the past and present of the church, and its mission to serve the local community. The development adds weight to Paisley's 2021 City of Culture bid, as part of the heritage cluster in the centre of the city.  

How the church would use the Friends Grant:

'We have a splendid, significant local building with an important place in the social history of Paisley, a key piece of Scotland's industrial history. We are scoping a diverse range of family and group historical studies to position this element of Paisley's rich historic tapestry in the wider local and national context. Additional funding would allow increased engagement with local people and create improved legacy materials, outputs and longer term engagement.'

Church website

Methodist Central Hall on ExploreChurches

Watch their video

 Methodist Central Hall

 

Methodist Central Hall

Methodist Central Hall

5. St Mary Magdalene, Paddington

Built in the 1860s and 1870s by G.E. Street, architect of the Royal Courts of Justice, this Grade I Listed building is 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 amongst the best of the age. The church has an almost completely intact internal decorative scheme of the highest quality, including the later Chapel of St Sepulchre by Sir Ninian Comper in the undercroft. It survives as a unique but isolated building in a social housing estate which is amongst the most deprived areas in the country.

St Mary Magdalene was awarded a £40,000 National Churches Trust Cornerstone Grant in December 2016 to help fund a project for the restoration of the historic fabric of the building, cleaning and restoring the stunning interior. This is part of a wider Heritage Lottery Fund funded project that includes the construction of a new annex to provide access for all, new facilities and meeting rooms.

St Mary Magdalene already offers a range of services to the local community, including a music society and working with local schools. The church is also a collection point for the North Paddington Food Bank. Many new activities are planned when the new annex is built. Working in partnership with the Paddington Development Trust, the church will run a skills development programme as part of Westminster's Employment Programme; an adult learning programme with Westminster Adult Education Service; learning and inclusion for people with disabilities; and activities for older people.

How the church would use the Friends Grant:

'Funding is needed for a project to conserve the stunning interior and create a new annex to transform the church into a centre for the local community. A joint initiative between Paddington Development Trust and St Mary Magdalene, we believe our project will be an exemplar of how a church can become relevant again, particularly in a deprived, urban community'.

Church website

St Mary Magdalene on ExploreChurches

Watch their video

 St Mary Paddington

 

 St Mary Paddington

 

St Mary Paddington

Vote below for which church you would like to see awarded the £10,000 Friends Grant: