Joy for St Just as the Cornish church wins the 2019 Friends Vote

Published: Monday, September 2, 2019


St Just, St Just-in-Penwith, Cornwall has been awarded the 2019 Friends Vote Grant.

The £10,000 grant will help to fund the church’s major repair project to reroof the church, undertake masonry repairs and address the rainwater goods – making it watertight and safe for worshippers, building users and visitors. This will secure the building and protect early Christian heritage which dates back to the 5th to 6th Centuries, including the Selus Stone.


Andrew Burt, Secretary of the St Just-in-Penwith Parochial Church Council and Project Manager for the ‘Raise the Roof!’ Appeal said:

“We are genuinely overwhelmed by the news that so many of the Friends of the National Churches Trust thought our cause worthy of their personal vote and thrilled that we have been awarded the 2019 Friends of the National Churches Trust Grant of £10,000.”

“The ‘Raise the Roof!’ Appeal Volunteers and our Congregation are jumping with joy that the plans to help secure the future of our Church building have achieved such widespread national recognition. This additional grant will ensure we can make the whole of the Church building watertight and safe for worshippers and visitors and safeguard its deeply important heritage for future generations. THANK YOU ONE AND ALL.”   



Rev. Karsten Wedgewood, Priest in Charge of St Just-in-Penwith Parish Church said:

''Many thanks for selecting St Just church for this award. Your generosity will bring us to the total we need to ensure that we keep our historic building watertight and our beautiful medieval frescoes preserved for future generations to enjoy and for our local community to continue to worship with us. We are all thrilled to receive this news!” 

Medieval fresco depicting 'Christ of the Trades'

Once the building has been repaired, the church hopes to develop a flexible community space with a loo and kitchen facilities. St Just church is located in an area of rural deprivation and has substantial potential to enhance its activities to further support community need. Funding from the Friends of the National Churches Trust Grant will help remove the Church from Historic England’s At Risk Register.

The present church is medieval in origin and built in the classic Cornish pattern church of three aisles and a tall west tower. The ancient church was rebuilt in 1334 and rededicated on 13 July 1336. Sadly only part of the chancel remains from 1334. Later remodelling in the early 15th century created the outer aisles and tower.

The church has on show the ensign of HMS Revenge which was flown at the Battle of Jutland in 1915 during the First World War.



Four churches, which had been awarded a National Churches Trust Repair or Community Grant in 2018 and which needed additional funding prior to starting work on their projects, were shortlisted for the Friends' Grant. 

In a vote, Friends of the National Churches Trust selected St Just, St Just-in-Penwith, Cornwall as the church which should receive an additional grant of £10,000.

Other churches shortlisted were All Saints, Isle Brewers, Somerset; St Cynbryd, Llandulas, Conwy; and St Michael, Kirkby Thore, Cumbria.

Votes cast were as follows:

St Just, St Just-in-Penwith


St Michael, Kirkby Thore


All Saints, Isle Brewers


St Cynbryd, Llandulas



The Friends of the National Churches Trust Grant scheme started in 2017 when St Mary Magdalene, in Paddington, west London, was awarded the first ever Friends of the National Churches Trust Grant of £10,000. The 2018 winner was St Botolph, Boston, Lincolnshire, where stonework repairs are due to complete in September.

                                St Botolph Church, Lincolnshire, winner of the 2018 Friends Vote


Catherine Townsend, Head of Church Support at the National Churches Trust said:


“I'm delighted that St Just’s church in St Just-in-Penwith, Cornwall is to receive the 2019 Friends of the National Churches Trust Grant of £10,000 to help in the funding of the restoration of the church’s roof.

“We look forward to following the progress of the works and to seeing the benefits of the completed project in the coming years.”

“All the churches who were shortlisted for the Friends Grant have important projects to complete and I very much hope that they will be able to find any additional funding required to start on site as soon as possible.

“Through their support and generous donations, our growing number of Friends help us carry out our work of supporting churches in so many ways. Providing a direct way for them to help us select a church to award an additional grant of £10,000 is a great way to involve our Friends in our work.

  “Many thanks to our Friends who took part in the vote, and congratulations to St Just for winning. We very much look forward to following their progress.”