Take part in the Friends' Vote 2018
We want Friends of the National Churches Trust to help us by choosing a church to award a special Friends Grant of £10,000. VOTING HAS NOW CLOSED
We invited churches to whom we had awarded a Repair or Community Grant in 2017 to let us know if they needed any additional funding prior to starting work on their project. We shortlisted four. Friends of the National Churches Trust can now take part in our work by choosing which one you think should be awarded an extra £10,000.
The four churches shortlisted are:
- St Elvan, Aberdare, South Wales
- St Botolph, Boston, Lincolnshire
- St James, Shardlow, Derbyshire
- St Andrew, Donhead St Andrew, Wiltshire
We asked each church to make a video, so they can tell you about themselves in their own words. Below, you can also find out more about each of the churches, and how the Friends grant would help them. More information and photos are also available on our ExploreChurches page for each church.
Please choose which church you would like to support by filling in the short form at the bottom of this page.
If you are not a Friend of the National Churches Trust, you can sign up now to be able to vote.
Voting closes at 5pm on Friday 10 August 2018. The successful church will be announced on our website on 31 August 2018.
If you have any questions, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 020 7222 0605.
1. St Elvan, Aberdare, South Wales
Grade II* listed St Elvan was built in 1852 to designs by London architect Andrew Moseley. It is known as the Cathedral of the Valleys, and sits at the heart of Aberdare's Conservation Area. Its steeple, visible from far across the Cynon Valley, contains eight bells. The church’s gothic-styled interior reflects its history of high Anglican churchmanship. The Eden Memorial commemorating the fallen of World War I lists 222 names of local soldiers and is the largest of its kind in the Welsh Valleys.
St Elvan's was awarded a £40,000 Repair Grant by the National Churches Trust in November 2017 to help fund urgent repairs to the roof, spire, windows, masonry and rainwater goods. The church will be able to undertake all necessary restoration and repairs to both the internal and external fabric of the building to protect the Grade II* heritage and World War I Monument. The project includes essential work to the church spire, improving the urban landscape whilst restoring Aberdare’s largest historic building.
With the repairs complete, internal reordering will enable St Elvan's to become a much-needed community space. A new cafe, toilets, meeting space, and exhibition space will offer a welcoming atmosphere to become a vibrant hub that will support the community's needs. A heritage experience will also tell the history of the church and its parish.
2. St Botolph, Boston, Lincolnshire
St Botolph, better known as ‘Boston Stump’, is Grade I listed and is one of the largest parish churches in the country. It was described by Pevsner as 'a giant among English parish churches'. Boston Stump has always been a landmark to both seafarers and people travelling across the flat fenland that surrounds the town. It will be forever linked with the Puritan emigrants who in 1630 followed in the wake of the Pilgrim Fathers and founded a new Boston in the United States of America.
St Botolph's was awarded a £40,000 Repair Grant from the National Churches Trust in November 2017. The repair project is focused on the restoration of the church’s tower. This will include replacement of the lead belfry roof and the wooden platform at the top of the lantern tower which are both in extremely poor condition. It will also involve restoration work to the west face of the tower enabling St Botolph to be removed from Historic England’s Heritage At Risk Register, safeguarding the historic fabric for generations to come.
When complete, the project will draw in significant numbers of new visitors thanks to the redevelopment work, and new facilities. The church is the largest performance space in the area, seating 1,200 people. It has been expanding its concert and events programme, and has installed a shop and better facilities for community groups. It is particuarly well used for English Language classes for the local eastern European community.
3. St James, Shardlow, Derbyshire
Lying within the Shardlow Conservation Area, St James’ church - designed by Stevens of Derby - was built in the 1830s after the expansion of Shardlow when the Trent and Mersey canal arrived here. It was the largest inland port in the country. With its box-pews, tall pulpit, wall-mounted memorials and stained-glass windows, it is a notable example of early Victorian architecture.
St James was awarded a £12,000 Repair Grant in July 2017. Additional funds are required for a new roof, rather than roof repairs as was originally thought. The repair project will address urgent structural repairs to the roof and stonework and ensure that the church can be removed from Historic England’s Heritage At Risk Register. The urgent repair works cover rainwater goods, badly eroded stonework, and corroded cast iron window frames.
After the repairs are complete, the project will engage the local community with the church’s heritage and allow it to retain a pivotal role at the centre of the village through the development of a community room with new facilities, and a wildlife heritage churchyard. It will ensure that the church is open for worship and to the local community as a valuable village asset for years to come.
4. St Andrew, Donhead St Andrew, Wiltshire
St Andrew is a Grade II* listed church situated beside the river Nadder in Wiltshire. There has been a church on this site for at least a thousand years and it is believed that the first church may have been built soon after the founding of Shaftesbury Abbey in about 875 AD. The present church is thirteenth century, though much altered in the nineteenth century, and is built of the local green sandstone. The tall narrow arch leading from the chancel to the vestry is Saxon from the ninth or tenth century. There is no other village centre in Donhead St Andrew, so the church is the focus of the community.
St Andrew's was awarded a £20,000 Repair Grant from the National Churches Trust in November 2017 for a major repair project tackling roof repairs, gutter repairs, insulation, asbestos removal, and replastering. The project will significantly improve the condition of the church by dealing with water penetration from the leaking roof and dealing with the causes of damp. As a result, the church will be watertight, avoiding further deterioration in the future and any additional major expenditure.
With the repairs complete, the church will create an extension with an accessible toilet, kitchen, parish room, and boiler room. The final fundraising will provide the funds to complete the interior of the parish room, which will be the home of the Sunday School.