£2 million funding boost for local churches

Published: Friday, October 22, 2021

 

The Government has today announced an award of £2 million to the National Churches Trust to fund urgent repairs to 15 historic local churches and meeting houses.

The funding comes from the Heritage Stimulus Fund, part of the Government's Culture Recovery Fund.

It will help remove eight of them from the Historic England 'Heritage at Risk' Register and secure them for future generations.

Places of worship being helped include: Saltaire United Reformed Church, Saltaire, Yorkshire; The Friends Meeting House, Kendal, Cumbria and The Friends Meeting House, Marazion, Cornwall and twelve historic Church of England buildings.

The churches receiving grants are among 142 heritage sites to receive awards totalling £35 million today.

Administered on behalf of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) by Historic England, the grants are aimed to support and bolster local economies and jobs across the country.

Money from the government's £2 billion Culture Recovery Fund is intended to open up heritage and the benefits it brings to everyone.

A further 21 grants have been made directly to the Church of England and The Churches Conservation Trust, Friends of Friendless Churches, and Catholic Church have also received funding. In total, £12 million of funding goes to help church buldings.

Claire Walker, CEO National Churches Trust said:

"Historic local places of worship are a vital part of our national heritage, but sadly, a shortage of available funding means that many are in a very poor state of repair."

"The £2 million investment in our grants scheme by the Cultural Recovery Fund is incredibly good news. The funding is a vote of confidence in the future of historic church buildings and a recognition of their importance to society."

"Over the last few months we have worked closely with experts at Historic England to identify 15 church buildings most at risk that need urgent help. We will now help to ensure these repair projects can be carried out speedily to prevent any further damage to precious heritage."

Huw Edwards, Vice-President of the National Churches Trust said:

"Local churches, chapels and meeting houses are the beating heart of local communities. It's great news that grants for 15 churches and meeting houses identified by the National Churches Trust will now be made available with funding from the Cultural Recovery Fund. This will help the National Churches Trust to protect heritage and keep churches open so that they can continue to support local people."

Duncan Wilson, Historic England's Chief Executive, said:

"Funding from the government's Culture Recovery Fund is hugely welcome at a time when the people and organisations who look after our vast and varied array of heritage urgently need support to carry out essential repairs. Heritage is a fragile eco-system, with an amazing cast of characters who keep our historic places alive, with specialist skills that take time to learn and experience to perfect. These grants will protect their livelihoods, as they use their expertise to help our heritage survive."

Full list of places of worship being helped:

  • St Mary the Virgin, Gamlingay, Cambridgeshire (Diocese of Ely). In 2018 the Grade I listed church suffered a major lead theft. A £206,786 grant will fund the reinstatement of sand-cast lead to match that which had been stolen, repairs to windows and improve the building. The work will help remove the church from the Heritage at Risk register.
  • St Martin, Cheselbourne, Dorset (Diocese of Salisbury). A £16,771 grant will fund re-roofing in terne coated stainless steel of the Grade I Listed church following lead theft. The work will help remove the church from the Heritage at Risk register.
  • Holy Trinity, Norton Juxta Twycross, Leicestershire (Diocese of Leicester). A £60,626 grant will fund urgent repairs to the roof and to rainwater goods of the Grade II* Listed church. The work will help remove the church from the Heritage at Risk register.
  • St Michael and All Angels, Hughenden, Oxfordshire (Diocese of Oxford). A £76,490 grant will pay for urgent repairs to the tower of the Grade II* Listed church. The work will help remove the church from the Heritage at Risk register.
  • Saltaire United Reformed Church, Saltaire, Yorkshire. A £59,936 grant will help fund urgent repairs to the tower to prevent water getting into the Grade I Listed church.
  • Friends Meeting House, Kendal, Cumbria, A £132,337 grant will help fund urgent repairs to the roof of the Grade II* Listed building.
  • Friends Meeting House, Marazion, Cornwall. A £31,904 grant will help fund urgent repairs to the roof, floor and heating of the Grade II* Listed building, the oldest purpose built Meeting House in Cornwall.
  • St Chad, Bensham, County Durham (Diocese of Durham). A £200,970 grant will help fund major repairs to the roof of the Grade II* Listed building, built in the Arts and Crafts style.
  • St John, Workington, Cumbria (Diocese of Carlisle). A £164,744 grant will fund urgent repairs to historic windows to the Grade II* Listed church. The work will help remove the church from the Heritage at Risk register
  • Minster Church of St Thomas', Newport, Isle of Wight, Hampshire (Diocese of Portsmouth). A £584,189 grant will fund urgent roof and stonework repairs at this the Grade I church. The work will help remove the church from the Heritage at Risk register.
  • St Anietus, St Neot, Cornwall (Diocese of Truro). A £41,043 grant will fund urgent stonework repairs, safeguarding historic stained glass at the Grade I Listed medieval church.
  • St Stephen the Martyr, Launceston, Cornwall (Diocese of Truro). A £286,698 grant will fund urgent repairs to the roof of the Grade I Listed church, which dates from the 13th century. The work will help remove the church from the Heritage at Risk register.
  • St Lawrence, Bigbury (Diocese of Exeter). A £78,920 grant will fund urgent repairs to the tower and spire to address rainwater ingress of the Grade II* listed building. The work will help remove the church from the Heritage at Risk register.
  • St James, Skillington (Diocese of Lincoln). A £10,711 grant will fund urgent repairs to the roof following lead theft in order to prevent further rainwater ingress and to halt the rapid deterioration of the church fabric and internal materials of the Grade I listed building.
  • All Saints, Northampton (Diocese of Peterborough). A £39,909 grant will fund urgent repairs to the roof and stonework to prevent water ingress.

 

Photos of the churches can be seen in a gallery below.