Christmas funding boost for 47 churches

Published: Wednesday, December 15, 2021

 

47 churches across the UK are being helped with grants totalling £473,000.

The Christmas funding package from the National Churches Trust is our third and final funding round in 2021.

£155,700 of the funding supporting 27 grants is provided by Wolfson Fabric Repair Grants, as part of our partnership with the Wolfson Foundation to support Listed churches in the UK. This latest round of funding takes the number of churches funded by Wolfson Fabric Repair Grants in 2021 to 67.

In 2021 the National Churches Trust has awarded or recommended 273 grants totalling £3.67 million to help keep church buildings open and in good repair. The total includes £2 million from the Heritage Stimulus Fund, part of the Government's Cultural Recovery Fund.

We are supporting a tremendous range of projects including:

  • Urgent repair work to allow the bells to ring again at Grade I Listed St Andrew's church in Rockbourne, Hampshire.
  • Tower and roof repairs and the installation of a kitchen at Grade I Listed St Peter and All Hallows in Huntspill, one of the best country churches in Somerset, which is often called The Cathedral of the Levels.
  • Roof repairs to Grade II Listed Our Lady of Lourdes, in Hednesford, West Midlands, one of the very first all concrete Catholic churches in the UK and unique when it was built.
  • Installing modern facilities and urgent repairs to Grade B Listed Findhorn church in Moray, Scotland, built in 1843 by architect John Urquhart, and which features a largely unchanged Free Church interior.

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

"The latest funding from the National Churches Trust is a much-needed lifeline for churches and chapels, many of which are struggling to raise money to keep their buildings in good repair."

"The grants will safeguard unique local heritage and provide a real boost to the people who look after and use churches and chapels for worship and for many important community activities."

Paul Ramsbottom, Chief Executive at the Wolfson Foundation, said:

"As well as being the spiritual heart of their communities, churches remain a vital part of the UK's heritage and history. We know that it can be challenging for churches to access funding to keep these remarkable buildings in good repair, particularly in the wake of the pandemic. We are therefore delighted to continue our work with the National Churches Trust in supporting the preservation of churches across the UK."

Full details of the latest grants

Full details of the 17 Cornerstone Grants awarded for fabric repairs and the installation of modern facilities are below, listed in alphabetical order of counties. A photo gallery is at the bottom of this page.

Additional grants to fund a range of church building maintenance, small repairs and development projects have been awarded by the National Churches Trust and by the Wolfson Foundation and with the support of the Pilgrim Trust. Information about all the grants awarded

Buckinghamshire

SS Simon and Jude, Castlethorpe - Grade I

A £10,000 National Churches Trust Cornerstone Grant will help fund urgent work to SS Simon and Jude and keep the church at the heart of the local community.

The church

Castlethorpe church is of Anglo-Saxon origin, although the building is of Norman foundation, with the nave, north arcade and north aisle dating from the late 12th century.

The church stands in an elevated position in the heart of the village, within the earthworks remaining from a motte and bailey castle built by Winemar the Fleming who was gifted the land by William I. The church later became a chapel for the Earls of Warwick.

The village developed around the church, which is built of local ironstone and limestone, with ironstone decoration in the window arches. It has two medieval mass dials on the south and west walls, and a pinnacled west tower (rebuilt in 1729 using some older material) with a 15th century bell.

The project

The work at the church centres on the installation of a kitchen and toilets which will offer the church the opportunity of launching a series of community inspired projects and activities.

Gloucestershire

St Cyr, Stinchcombe - Grade II*

A £5,000 National Churches Trust Cornerstone Grant will help fund urgent work to St Cyr and keep the church at the heart of the local community.

The church

Parts of St Cyr date from the 15th century but the church was rebuilt in the 'Decorated Style' in 1855.

Built of Cotswold limestone, it includes a nave, chancel, south aisle, two-storey north porch, three-stage west tower with octagonal spire which was rebuilt in 1882 following a lightning strike.

The project

The grant will help to fund the installation of a kitchen and toilets, which will offer the church the opportunity of launching a series of community inspired projects and activities.

Hampshire

St Andrew, Rockbourne - Grade I

A £12,000 National Churches Trust Cornerstone Grant will help fund urgent work which will allow the bells to ring again at St Andrew's church and keep the building at the heart of the local community.

The church also receives a £7,500 Wolfson Fabric Repair Grant from the Wolfson Foundation, on the recommendation of the National Churches Trust.

The church

The church, which has some Saxon features, has been at the heart of the community for over 900 years. The building is stone, with a part tiled roof and has undergone much development and refurbishment over many centuries. Today it is used for services and also as a concert venue.

St Andrew's, Rockbourne is one of four churches in the Benefice of Western Downland. Being situated high above the village at a prominent junction of footpaths, it is visited very often by ramblers associations as well as local people.

The project

The work, which begins in the New Year, will consist of dismantling the bell tower and removing the bells. Specialists will carry out a careful examination of the timbers which have suffered infestation and remove any which have become unsafe or have inadequate load bearing ability. Replacement beams will be fitted as needed and the tower rebuilt.

Kent

St Andrew, Wickhambreaux - Grade I

A £12,000 National Churches Trust Cornerstone Grant will help fund urgent work to St Andrew and keep the church at the heart of the local community.

The church also receives a £5,000 Wolfson Fabric Repair Grant from the Wolfson Foundation, on the recommendation of the National Churches Trust.

The church

St Andrew's dates from the 14th century when the Earls of Kent were Lords of the Manor.

The church features beautiful medieval glass in the west window of the south aisle depicting the beheading of St John the Baptist and is thought to be original to the building.

A sumptuous Art Nouveau east window was donated by Count James Gallatin of New York in 1896. It is supposedly the first work by an American glass painter in Europe and is signed Arild Rosenkrantz (1870-1964).

The project

The funding will help pay for urgent repairs to the north aisle roof, parapet gutter and stonework.

Norfolk

St Michael, Sutton - Grade II*

A £10,000 National Churches Trust Cornerstone Grant will help fund urgent work to St Michael's church and keep the church at the heart of the local community.

The church

St. Michael's is a fine, handsome building standing on the east side of the village.

It is built of flint with limestone dressings and consists of an early 14th century unbuttressed west tower and nave, south aisle and south porch.

The Tudor porch has a particularly splendid outer arch over its doorway. The furnishings include a fine Jacobean two tier pulpit and reading desk and a 14th century font held up on eight stone shafts.

The project

The grant will help fund installing a kitchen and toilet, which will offer the church the opportunity of launching a series of community inspired projects and activities.

All Saints', Wilby - Grade I

A £20,000 National Churches Trust Cornerstone Grant will help fund urgent repair work to All Saints', Wilby and keep the church at the heart of the local community.

The church also receives a £10,000 Wolfson Fabric Repair Grant from the Wolfson Foundation, on the recommendation of the National Churches Trust.

The church

It is quite possible that there was a church on the site before the Norman Conquest. The Lord of the Manor gave property rights to the Abbey of St Mary, York during the reign of William Rufus (1086 - 1100). This accounts for the magnificent chancel at Wilby, including an east window of 'cathedral proportions'.

All Saints' is unique in Norfolk as a church with a virtually complete set of Jacobean fittings, including the three decker pulpit in its original position amongst the pews. Chancel and nave roofs were restored in 1902 by William Weir, supervised by Philip Webb, a follower of Augustus Pugin.

The project

The project will include repairs to the chancel roof, stonework and mortar, and structural monitoring.

Nottinghamshire

St John the Baptist, Bilborough - Unlisted

A £10,000 National Churches Trust Cornerstone Grant will help fund urgent modernisation work to St John the Baptist church and keep it at the heart of the local community.

The church

In 1956 the Revd David Williams came to Bilborough and set up a temporary church from two army huts.

The following year plans were submitted for a new church to be designed by the local architects Broadhead and Royle. It was built with funds from the war damage payments scheme with help from local parishioners. All the original features of the 1950s church remain intact.

Bilborough was built to help provide workers to the then thriving factories of Players, Raleigh and Boots. Over the following seventy years the area has suffered greatly and, by any definition, it is among the UK's most left behind communities.

As the area has declined, so has the church. Despite being centrally located in the heart of the community, and a hub of social life in Bilborough, St John's struggled for many years. The new facilities will help it to re-engage with its community.

The project

The National Churches Trust grant will help fund the installation of a modern commercial kitchen to replace the unused choir vestry. New toilets and disabled toilets will be built in the in the entrance area. A new creche will also be provided and a new meeting room and storage will be available in a back room.

Somerset

St Peter and All Hallows, Huntspill - Grade I

A £10,000 National Churches Trust Cornerstone Grant will help fund urgent repairs and work to St Peter and All Hallows and keep the church at the heart of the local community.

The church also receives a £10,000 Wolfson Fabric Repair Grant from the Wolfson Foundation, on the recommendation of the National Churches Trust.

The work will help to remove the church from Historic England's 'At Risk' Register.

The church

St Peter and All Hallows is known as one of the best country churches in Somerset, which is often called The Cathedral of the Levels.

A Christian community is believed to have existed at Huntspill since AD 796 when, during the reign of the Saxon King Offa, the Manor and land at Huntspill was given to Glastonbury Abbey. Huntspill is listed in the Domesday Book of 1086 as Honspil.

There has been a church on this site since 1194. It was rebuilt in the 1400s and restored to its former glory after a fire in 1878. Today, the pillars are still a unique red/orange colour as a result of the fire.

The project

The work will include repairs to the tower and roof, and installing a kitchen and toilets.

Suffolk

All Saints, Little Bealings - Grade II

A £10,000 National Churches Trust Cornerstone Grant will help fund urgent work to All Saints and keep the church at the heart of the local community.

The church

While there is evidence that some of the church building dates back to the late 9th or early 10th century, All Saints church itself was built at the end of the 13th century, when in 1296 the Bishop of Norwich installed the first incumbent and rector, Giles Dodingesles.

The early building consisted of the chancel and a small nave which shows its origins with decorated windows and priest's door. The tower has a southern porch entrance; its base was added in the 14th century.

The church has a 15th century font; it is eight-sided and decorated originally with carved panels though only two remain. The other six panels were badly damaged, probably in the 1640s during the period of the Commonwealth under Cromwell.

The project

The work will involve providing a kitchen to enhance the church's work in this isolated rural community and help keep it open for many years to come.

Sussex

St Clement, Hastings - Grade II*

A £30,000 National Churches Trust Cornerstone Grant will help fund work to St Clement's church and keep it at the heart of the local community.

The church also receives a £5,000 Wolfson Fabric Repair Grant from the Wolfson Foundation, on the recommendation of the National Churches Trust.

The church

St Clement's is built on a site in the northeast part of the Old Town, which was acquired in 1286, after an earlier church had been destroyed by the sea. The replacement was destroyed by a French raid in 1377. Nothing of it remains, though some historians point to some rough masonry in the north aisle, as possible evidence of the original building.

The present church of St Clement is a large church on an irregular plan, rebuilt in the early 15th Century. The church was remodelled in the Victorian period, with new south windows and a south porch. William Butterfield, the eminent British architect who was prominent in the Gothic Revival, replaced roofs, removed interior galleries and other internal fitments in 1856.

The project

The work will see masonry and window repaired and in some cases replaced.

St Bartholomew, Maresfield - Grade I

A £5,000 National Churches Trust Cornerstone Grant will help fund urgent work to St Bartholomew and keep the church at the heart of the local community.

The church

A church has stood on the current site since the 12th century, although only a small window remains from that original building.

The chancel was extended or rebuilt in the 13th and 14th centuries and a tower was added in the 15th century.

A more extensive renovation was undertaken by J O Scott in 1875-79, one of several he did in the district. He renewed most of the details in the tower and nave and rebuilt the chancel in 14th century style with transepts, thereby extending the nave to the east. During his renovation an original Norman window was uncovered and glazed.

The project

The grant will help fund the installation of a kitchen and toilet facilities, which will offer the church the opportunity of launching a series of community inspired projects and activities.

West Midlands

St Thomas and St Luke, Dudley - Grade II*

A £10,000 National Churches Trust Cornerstone Grant will help fund urgent work to St Thomas and St Luke and keep the church at the heart of the local community.

The church also receives a £10,000 Wolfson Fabric Repair Grant from the Wolfson Foundation, on the recommendation of the National Churches Trust.

The church

There has been a church on the site since the 12th century, when the 5th Baron of Dudley, Gervase de Paganel, ordered a church to be built in dedication to 'Thomas Becket the Martyr' as a rebuff to King Henry II, after the latter had ordered the demolition of Dudley Castle.

The original building was replaced by the present Georgian church on the site of its demolished predecessor between 1815 and 1818 to designs by the architect William Brooks. The structure is a product of the industrial revolution, with a cast iron skeleton of pillars, roof members and window tracery. The crypt of the original church remains beneath the current structure.

The project

The work will concentrate on repairs to windows and masonry. This will involve repairing masonry that was inappropriately repaired in the past with cement, which is crumbling away resulting in pieces of masonry and cement falling off the building.

Our Lady of Lourdes, Hednesford - Grade II

A £10,000 National Churches Trust Cornerstone Grant will help fund urgent work to Our Lady of Lourdes and keep the church at the heart of the local community.

The church

Our Lady Lourdes is an ambitious and self-confident Gothic style building by G B Cox, erected between the wars and finished in 1934. It is a replica of a French Gothic church and within its grounds is a concrete and stone replica of the grotto at Lourdes.

The building makes a very strong and striking contribution to the local streetscape and is of wider significance as a diocesan pilgrimage site.

The church was one of the very first all concrete Catholic churches in the UK and was unique when it was built.

The project

The grant will help fund repairs to roofs, rainwater goods and stonework. The church will replace the flat roof areas over the side chapels and replace rainwater downpipes. High level stone masonry and concrete repairs and roof slate replacement will also be carried out where needed.

St David, Newbold on Stour - Grade II

A £5,000 National Churches Trust Cornerstone Grant will help fund urgent work to St David's church to keep it at the heart of the local community.

The church

The parish of St David's, Newbold on Stour with Armscote, was built in 1835. It is a large church built in the Gothic style of local two toned white/grey sandstone with rich brown accents of ironstone, lancet windows, and an open roof with ornamental rafters.

The stained glass windows of the chancel are completely filled with late Victorian glass, the most significant being the east window of three lancets, dated 1884, most likely the work of Lavers & Westlake.

At the west end is the church's newest feature, the central window of three more stepped lancets, which was filled with stained glass by Derek Hunt in 2006 in a very modern style with a striking montage of Christian symbols in a columnar composition.

The project

The grant will help fund the installation of a kitchen and toilets. Newbold's population is growing and the new facilities will enable the church to hold a wide range of community events. This will substantially increase revenue, helping put the church on a firmer financial footing.

Yorkshire

All Hallows, Leeds - Unlisted

A £20,000 National Churches Trust Cornerstone Grant will help fund urgent roof repairs at All Hallows and keep the church at the heart of the local community.

The church

The origins of All Hallows church can be traced back to 1876 when a temporary wooden structure was erected in Hartwell Road. The old church was burnt down in April 1970. The current church building was built in two phases after the fire.

The project

The grant will help fund roof repairs. Replacing and insulating the roof will ensure that the many things that are significant and valued about the building (an inclusive worship
space and a vibrant community cafe) can continue to take place under its, soon to-be watertight and warm, roof.

Scotland

Findhorn Church, Findhorn - Grade B

A £15,000 National Churches Trust Cornerstone Grant will help fund urgent work to Findhorn Church and keep the church at the heart of the local community.

The church also receives a £10,000 Wolfson Fabric Repair Grant from the Wolfson Foundation, on the recommendation of the National Churches Trust.

The church

Findhorn Church was built in 1843, by architect John Urquhart. While it was repaired and altered in 1872, it is otherwise largely unchanged and features a Free Church interior. The church has an unusual plastered doorway and Upper Lunettes, showing similarities to the work of John Cousins of Edinburgh. The church retains its original pews.

The project

Findhorn Church and hall have been at the heart of the local community for 180 years. The project will allow them to continue to be a central part of the village working with other groups and organisations such as the adjacent Findhorn Village Centre and Hostel which regularly use the buildings.

In addition to the repairs to the wooden floor and electrics and installation of an accessible toilet, the complete project also includes the installation of a modern heating system and replacement of an aged kitchen as well as upgrading the church hall.

Wales

Sussex Street Christian Centre, Rhyl - Grade II

A £20,000 National Churches Trust Cornerstone Grant will help fund urgent repairs to Sussex Street Christian Centre and keep the church at the heart of the local community.

The church

Sussex Street Christian Centre was built as an English Baptist Church in 1862-63 and occupies a prominent place near the centre of Rhyl. The church was renamed Sussex Street Christian Centre in the early 2000s.

In the 1800s Rhyl was a Welsh speaking area. Many of the people moving to Rhyl came from the industrial areas of Liverpool, Manchester and the Midlands. Influential entrepreneurs, who had summer homes in the town, along with local Baptists, decided to establish an English Baptist Church in the town.

Notwithstanding the construction date, the building shows late Georgian influences. It is a tall building with a full height Corinthian column portico originally of red brick with painted freestone dressings. The windows have largely been replaced, mostly matching the originals.

The project

The grant will help fund urgent repairs to the roof. As part of the project the church will also replace the rainwater goods, carry out masonry repairs to the front of the building and repair internal plaster where it has been damaged by water.