Funding boost for urgent church repairs
Published: Monday, December 14, 2015
29 churches and chapels in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are to share in a £390,000 funding pay-out, announced by the National Churches Trust
The funding will pay for urgent repairs and for new community facilities including toilets and disabled access.
Six of the churches awarded grants are on Historic England's ‘At Risk’ Register which identifies heritage sites most at danger. Financial support from the National Churches Trust will help to safeguard their future.
Churches receiving grants include St John the Evangelist, Upper Norwood, one of London’s most magnificent Victorian Gothic Revival churches, St Bride’s, East Kilbride. a pioneering 1960’s brutalist church in Scotland and St Joseph’s, Burslem, Staffordshire, an arts and crafts church built by unemployed men in Stoke-on Trent and dubbed ‘the church of genuflexions’ by Potteries author Arnold Bennett. These three churches receive National Churches Trust Cornerstone Grants.
The National Churches Trust is an independent charity which receives no financial support from Government or church authorities. National Churches Trust Cornerstone Grants are made possible through the generous support of the Pilgrim Trust, as well as donors and supporters, other trusts and foundations and the many places of worship and individuals who support our programmes.
Photos of churches awarded grants can be viewed on the photo gallery at the bottom of this web page.
The latest grant announcement concludes a year in which the UK's church repair and support charity has awarded or recommended funding of £2.2 million to help 177 churches, chapels and meeting houses.
Top of the 2015 list of funding requests received by the charity include repairs to roofs, stonework and drainage and the provision of toilets, kitchens and disabled access.
Huw Edwards, Vice-President of the National Churches Trust said:
“I'm delighted that this Christmas the future of 29 churches and chapels is being safeguarded by National Churches Trust grants.”
“Funding for repairs will help save architectural heritage for future generations including some of the finest examples of medieval, Victorian and 20th century church architecture. National Churches Trust funding for new community facilities will help ensure that more churches and chapels can better serve local people.”
“At the heart of the nation’s history and at the centre of local communities, churches and chapels are some of the UK's best loved local buildings. But their future is not guaranteed. “
“So this Christmas, when people visit a church for a carol service or even just walk past a church on the way to do the Christmas shopping, I urge them to think about how they can help ensure that churches remain open and in good repair for future generations.”
“Everyone can make a contribution to the future of the UK's church and chapel buildings. That can be by helping to clear drains and gutters to help keep churches watertight, volunteering as a guide to show people the magnificent history and architecture of places of worship or by keeping an eye out for vandals or thieves. “
“Churches and chapels may be historic buildings, but they can be part of our future, too.”
FULL DETAILS OF ALL GRANTS FOLLLOW BY COUNTY/COUNTRY
Wicken Methodist Church, Wicken, Cambridgeshire CB7 5XW
£5,000 National Churches Trust Community Grant to fund a range of works including:
•New kitchen facilities with improved layout including a hatch to allow more efficient serving of refreshments at events
•Removal of pews to create a flexible community space, retrofit damp proof course and carpet the sanctuary and introduce chairs
•Provide level access throughout
•Provide a 'lounge area' in the sanctuary where information on local history, local support, activities and events will be available along with other church and partner information. The lounge area will include a display of our heritage and history of the chapel.
Wicken Methodist Church was built in 1911 when the congregation outgrew the previous premises. In the 1980s an extension provided kitchen and toilet facilities. Porch, archway in sanctuary and mouldings around doors are all original Arts and Crafts style features and the foundation stones at the front of the building feature names of local funders, families and those involved in the original building project in 1911. Interestingly visitors often comment on the sense of warmth and blessing.
Hankelow Methodist Church, Hankelow, Cheshire CW3 0JN
£15,000 National Churches Trust Community Grant to help fund a project to modernize and upgrade the church premises including the provision of two modernized toilets, an enlarged and modernized kitchen, new double glazed external doors with windows to suit disabled people and new lighting in the hall, kitchen and toilets to help people with low vision.
The church building is the only publicly available building in the local rural area whose three parish councils all use the community hall for their meetings and activities. The new facilities will allow for an increase in the use of the church building for celebrations, family events and to provide a meeting place for a wider range of local organisations and groups.
The Methodist Church in Hankelow is a small, welcoming community. Its building is situated just off the main road through Hankelow (A529), at one end of the village green. The current building is the latest Methodist building in the village. The first was opened in 1825, the present one in 1935.
St Alban, Tattenhall, Cheshire CH3 9QE
Diocese of Chester
£15,000 National Churches Trust Community Grant to help fund a major project to build an extension to provide much needed toilet facilities and a meeting room.
The new facilities will bring the church into the 21st century and help develop closer links with the community. The facilities will cater for the young and elderly and their increased requirements and improve the experience for people attending services and events.
A church has existed in Tattenhall since 1300AD and without doubt on this same site since the early years of the sixteenth century. The tower is the only part of the current building that dates back to that time; the rest of the building - ‘having fallen into great decay’ - was demolished and rebuilt in 1869-70.
The present building, the work of John Douglas, is notable for its scale and proportion. It is a building to be enjoyed not only by regular churchgoers but others; those who wish to use it for important occasions such as weddings or funerals, by local residents who want to preserve a part of their local heritage, by people who have moved away from the area but remain interested and by people who want a special setting for an art exhibition or a musical concert.
Of the six bells, three are said to be the earliest inscribed bells in Cheshire and are dated 1596. The most recent was purchased and hung in 1904 when other refurbishment work was undertaken. The oldest stained glass window is medieval and is at the south side of the sanctuary. It depicts Saints Stephen and Alban and bears the 15th century Touchet family arms. There are five other stained glass windows, all of the post-1870 period.
The church stands in its own churchyard near the centre of the village and is built on the site of a Roman villa.
St Cuthbert, Kentmere, Cumbria LA8 9JL
Diocese of Carlisle
£10,000 National Churches Trust Repair Grant to fund urgent roof repairs. The basic roof structure today is now over 300 years old and carrying out these urgent repairs will enable this long history to continue into the next century.
Once repairs have been completed, the church intends to create a social/mixed use area at the rear of the nave where it can also exhibit details of the long history of the church and surrounding area. This would be available for anyone visiting the church to see and visits by local schools to learn about this heritage would then be encouraged.
St Cuthbert's church is an iconic presence in the small upland valley of Kentmere, being both central to the cultural life of its resident community and prominently visible from the surrounding hills, so popular with visitors and walkers.
The building is documented back to 1453 but its position at the crossing of significant old bridle tracks and drove-ways running north-south and east-west, the circular nature of the graveyard walls and the presence of an ancient yew tree dated as being over 1,000 years old, provide circumstantial evidence for there being a place of worship on the site for at least that length of time.
The church walls are unusually thick, mostly 1.2 metres in width, and the tower is accessed by a narrow spiral stone staircase whose original entrance door could be locked from inside, suggesting that the bell cote above also served as some kind of fortified lookout point.
Near the pulpit in the church is a magnificent plaque to the memory of one of Kentmere’s famous sons, Bernard Gilpin, who was born at Kentmere Hall in 1517. Bernard Gilpin was a famous preacher in Henry VIII’s time, and a leading churchmen in the troubled times of the reign of Mary Tudor. He became a Fellow at the Queen’s College, Oxford, Rector of Thornton-le-Moors, Vicar of Norton, Rector of Houghton-le-Spring and Archdeacon of Durham but declined the bishopric of Carlisle. He was known as the “Apostle of the north” and died at Houghton-le-Spring, Co. Durham in 1583.
St James, Jacobstowe, Devon EX20 3RQ
Diocese of Exeter
£5,000 National Churches Trust Community Grant to fund a project to re-order the church so as to provide a suitable venue for community use. This will be achieved by installing a modern damp-proof floor to the nave, replacing the fixed pews with movable pews and stacking chairs, and the provision of simple catering facilities and a WC in the vestry.
There has been no building in the parish available for community use for many years and the proposed work has the enthusiastic support of the community.
St James Church, dates back to the 12th century but there was major remodelling in the 15th century when the tower was added. In 1902/1903 the church was restored, the chancel lengthened by five feet and the vestry was added to the south side.
St George, Modbury, Devon PL21 0QN
Diocese of Exeter
£20,000 National Churches Trust Repair Grant to help fund major repairs to the roof.
With these urgent and essential works completed, the functionality of the building will be guaranteed and its external appearance secured. The walls will dry out and the building will take less heating thus not only lowering costs and the carbon footprint, but also reducing the damage being caused to the inside fabric of the building. The completed project will result in a building that is not only welcoming and interesting to visit but efficient to run and flexible to use. In turn this will attract increased usage, thus extending St George’s tradition of community and heritage commitment already evident in the many social groups and those wishing to engage with the heritage of the building.
Predominately 700 year-old, St George’s is a Grade 1 listed church containing significant historical architectural features from the 13th century. With its typical Devon three-gabled roof, the church stands magnificently above, and is a dominant feature of the town, and the surrounding AONB.
Its tall broach spire, which can be seen from afar, was rebuilt in its original form in 1621 after a lightning strike.
The building contains a significant number of historic architectural features showing architectural response to social changes and trends in Christian worship over the centuries, including very rich, early 14th century canopied tomb recesses with damaged figures, barrel roofed chapels with decorated roof bosses, and richly carved and elaborately decorated door surrounds.
Parts of the building pre-date the Doomsday Book and its early development was closely connected to the adjacent Benedictine Priory. In 1441, Henry VI granted the Priory to Eton College who is still responsible for the ancient duty of keeping the chancel end of the church 'water and wind proof'.
Steeped in history, having witnessed medieval strife and suppression, the church survived the Civil War when two battles were fought in Modbury and Parliamentarian forces and horses were billeted in the building. This living monument of Modbury's history is a focal point of a thriving and growing community - a widely used community facility catering for a diverse range of activities, particularly musical events due to its excellent acoustics.
St Andrew, Wormingford, Essex CO6 3AZ
Diocese of Chelmsford
£5,000 National Churches Trust Community Grant to help fund the creation of a kitchen and an accessible toilet within the church tower. The project aims to encourage community use of the church and make it more accessible to the elderly and the very young.
A spokesman for the church said: ”We are aware that worshippers and visitors travel to the Church from some distance, and express surprise that we are unable to offer refreshment or comfort. It is less than helpful to suggest that visitors walk at least 500 metres to the nearest amenities with toilets and these may not be open. Our mission to attract young children and the elderly is being severely hampered by the lack of facilities, including toilets, baby-changing or running water. We know that some Parishioners have elected not to attend the church due to the lack of facilities and are aware that couples who qualify to marry in the church are choosing other venues because of the lack of facilities. The Essex Association of Change Ringers has ceased using our church for bell-ringing events due to the lack of toilets or the ability to wash hands. The inability to provide simple refreshments in church prevents us from demonstrating Christian hospitality.”
Located on the Essex side of the Dedham Vale, Wormingford's tiny 12th century church of St Andrew is built of rubble and flint, mixed with Roman bricks. It was remodelled in the 14th and 15th centuries and heavily restored in 1870. In Saxon times it probably served double-duty as a lookout point, with views across the vale.
The oldest part of the building is the nave and west tower, both dating to the 12th century. A north aisle was added in the early 14th century and the chancel rebuilt later that century. A south porch was added in the 15th century. In the churchyard are memorials to the aunt and uncle of artist John Constable.
St John the Evangelist, Upper Norwood, London SE19 2RX
On the Historic England Hertigae At Risk Register
Diocese of Southwark
£40,000 National Churches Trust Cornerstone Grant to secure the church building, through the underpinning of the foundations. Over the past 25 years, the building has been subject to subsidence, which has resulted in the south aisle, tower and Lady Chapel detaching from the main structure, with falling masonry inside and out. In 2014 the church was placed on the Historic England Heritage At Risk Register, due to overwhelming concern about the condition of the building's fabric. The work will stabilise the structure and vaulted ceiling on the south side, make the internal floor safe and level and stop further movement.
St John’s church was described at its Consecration in 1887 as “the most beautiful parish church of modern days”. Designed in 1881, the church is one of the most famous buildings by John Loughborough Pearson who was probably the greatest ecclesiastical architect of the 19th century gothic revival. He was also responsible for Truro Cathedral and Brisbane Cathedral.
The wonderfully vaulted roof and soaring gothic spaces provide a matchless setting both visually and acoustically for an organ quite stunning in its splendour. The church has a notable musical tradition and houses a famous Lewis pipe organ to which international recitalists are drawn to perform. The organ is the largest in London in a parish church and survives as an outstanding example of Lewis’s work. The combination of Lewis’s genius as a voicer and Pearson’s acoustic ambience result in a cathedral-like sound of superlative beauty.
The foundation stone was laid on 6th May 1878 and immediately covered up until 1881, when the first brick of the new church was set in place. A year later, the Archbishop of Canterbury dedicated the chancel, a portion of the south aisles and two bays of the nave. It was not however until 1887 that the completed church was consecrated. From the start, the church was always in debt and the planned tower and spire were never realised.
On 23rd June 1944 and again over the following few days, the building was rocked by bomb blasts that put it out of commission for nearly 3½ years.
Fr. John Pritchard, Parish Priest said:
“I am delighted that our Parish Church of St John the Evangelist in Upper Norwood has been awarded a £40,000 National Churches Trust Cornerstone Grant. St John's is at the heart of the community in Upper Norwood and Crystal Palace, and this award will literally stop us from falling over. We are a Grade 2* Pearson designed church which over the past years has suffered subsidence on an epic scale. Underpinning our foundations (which this grant supports), will allow us to continue as a place of inspiring worship and a building and people in service of the wider Community. Once this work has been completed St John the Evangelist Church will be stable, and then we will move on to the greater restoration of this iconic building; inside and out.”
St Michael and All Angels, Knill, Herefordshire LD8 2PR
On the Historic England Heritagte At Risk Register
Diocese of Hereford
£10,000 National Churches Trust Repair grant to fund major repairs to the roof which is composed of stone tiles that are approximately 140 years old. The tiles are slipping and shaling, and need to be lifted, cleaned and re-bedded. Approximately 50% of the tiles need to be replaced.
Repair of the roof will protect the interior of the church and its contents. It will allow the church to stay open and safeguard the use of the building by the community and visitors for many years to come and will preserve its significant heritage for the area and community.
The parish church of St Michael and All Angels is mentioned in chronicles dating back to the Doomsday Book. It has a Norman tower and a Saxon nave and is a Grade II* listed building. Knill is one of two Thankful Villages in Herefordshire - those rare places that suffered no fatalities during the Great War of 1914 to 1918. There is thus no war memorial in the village but in the parish church there is a carved stone plaque on the wall, which greets visitors with the inscription:
TO THE GLORY OF GOD
AND IN THANKSGIVING TO HIM FOR
THE VICTORY GRANTED TO US IN THE
GREAT WAR OF 1914-1918
AND FOR HIS MERCIES IN BRINGING
SAFELY HOME THE MEN OF THIS PARISH
WHO SERVED THEIR COUNTRY OVERSEAS
LIVERPOOL AND MERSEYSIDE
Emmanuel Church, Southport, Liverpool and Merseyside PR9 9PR
Diocese of Liverpool
£10,000 National Churches Trust Repair Grant to help fund major roof repairs including re-slating all of the lower level roofs on the north side, including the chancel using re-claimed slates. Damaged timbers will be repaired/replaced and treated against further decay.
With a watertight building, the church plans to increase the numbers of activities, especially concerts and exhibitions and school visits. Increased use of the building will allow the wider community to engage with the church history and architecture.
The handsome red brick church of Emmanuel is a landmark on the main road heading north out of Southport. It is the largest building in the area, seating 1,300.
The foundation stone was laid in 1895 by the widow of Rev. Charles Hesketh who donated the site. Built to the design of architects Preston & Vaughan, Emmanuel is of Ruabon brick with sandstone dressings and a complex slated roof.
Emmanuel is built in the Gothic style with great attention to detail for such a large building: there are several well-preserved gargoyles and these features repay careful examination. The most immediately obvious architectural features, however, are the impressive crossing tower and the unusual double-gabled south transept.
Many stained glass windows were added between 1898 (the east window) and 1935. Most of these were given as memorials and are largely typical of their period. The seven-light west window (1899) is particularly good; this was restored in 2006.
The tower, a 1901 addition, contains a ring of eight bells weighing 630kg by Taylors of Loughborough. With the exception of wartime these bells have been rung regularly since their installation.
The organ (1914) is by renowned builder Harrisons of Durham and retains its original specification albeit with electric action since its restoration in 2000.
In addition to worship, the church is used for concerts and exhibitions and welcomes local schools for educational visits and as a venue for school concerts. The church, being the largest in the area, is used for larger public gatherings.
Ormskirk Street United Reformed Church, St Helens, Ormskirk, Liverpool and Merseyside WA10 2JZ
£10,000 Repair Grant to fund the total replacement of the original roof covering provided when the building was erected in 1976. The asphalt roof covering requires total replacement. The church will use a modern rubberised roof covering installed by specialised contractors. As there is currently no insulation in the existing roofs, this will also be installed.
The church was erected in 1976 to replace existing buildings. Situated in St. Helens town centre, it occupies a prominent position set on a busy main thoroughfare and has a most distinctive form and design.
The overall shape is one which reflects a Bedouin tent, to signify that God's people are a travelling people always moving on. It is three storeys, of brick and concrete construction with a metal and mineralised felt roof. It is used as a church and community building, which is open seven days a week. The church, including the church hall, is under one roof and has its own car park. Apart from the church occupation it is used by 26 other organisations, including several charities, disabled and educational groups, on a regular basis.
All Saints, Litcham, Norfolk PE32 2PA
Diocese of Norwich
On the Historic England ‘ At Risk Register’
£10,000 National Churches Trust Repair Grant to help fund a project to re-slate the nave roof and re-lead the south aisle roof. The project will improve the interior of the building by stopping water ingress and thereby enable unimpeded use of the church for christenings, weddings and funerals as well as worship.
Areas of the church date from the 13th century although much of the present building dates from the early 15th century. The square tower was largely rebuilt in the early 15th century. The clock is dated 1725 and was made by the Swaffham blacksmith. The tower contains a peal of six bells, which are still rung today by the Litcham Bellringers.
The church has an unusual red and green painted rood screen which was completed in 1536 and shows twenty-two painted images of saints. The tracery of the upper portions of the screen are carved with great delicacy. The female saints can be identified as Sitha, Cecilia, Dorothy, Juliana, Agnes, Petronella, Helena, and Ursula. The baptismal font is of the early 15th century and shows shields, now stripped of their identifying painted arms, on the bowl.
The church also contains a wooden Dutch coffer, of which there are only five in the country, this used to be used for storing books. Another notable feature is that none of the faces on the statues have been erased unlike in other churches of the area.
St Mary the Virgin, Sedgeford, Norfolk PE36 5NA
Diocese of Norwich
£15,000 National Churches Trust Repair Grant to help fund repairs to the south side of the church roof and drainage system to make the building watertight and warm. This will encourage more people to spend time in the church appreciating its architectural features and to increase community use.
St Mary’s Sedgeford is one of the largest of the Norfolk Round Tower Churches and is a Grade 1 listed building.
Churches with Round Towers were built from Saxon times but for Sedgeford, most opinions now favour a later date. Both stages of the tower, nave and chancel were probably all built at the same time in the late 13th Century.
Before the Reformation of 1534, the church was in the care of the Prior and Monks of Norwich Priory. There are no written records about the Church building until 1780, when the chancel was shortened, after the collapse of the east end of the chancel. The Priest’s door seen in the south wall near the corner, shows how much the Chancel was shortened, for the usual position for such a door would be about halfway along.
The Font is 13th century Norman style with a square bowl of Purbeck marble. This is the oldest part of the church. By 1841 the church had become so dilapidated that the congregation had to use their umbrellas inside the church and it needed a restoration programme. This took place in 1882, resulting in a new roof, pews and furniture. This was paid for by the Rolfe family.
The church has an old organ of considerable historic importance, which was built by W.C. Mack of Great Yarmouth in 1862. The organ has been awarded a historic organ certificate by the British Institute of Organ Studies. It is listed on their register of historic pipe organs as an instrument of importance and one deserving careful preservation for the benefit of future generations.
Belle Vue Methodist Church, Shrewsbury, Shropshire SY3 7NL
£5,000 National Churches Trust Community Grant to help fund a new hall at the rear of the church to provide a meeting space that can be used by the local community in an area lacking such facilities at present.
The existing church hall is cold, draughty and in poor decorative order and has very limited access for disabled persons.
Mike Hallworth, Church Treasurer and Chairman of the Belle Vue Community Centre Project says:
“We want to encourage local people to use the new centre which we consider will provide an excellent meeting place for the local community. It’s an exciting development! We would be pleased to hear from anyone who considers that they may wish to discuss future use of the building for their personal use, or for their social, educational or business organisation. Belle Vue Methodist Church is a registered Eco-Congregation, which means its members take a concern for environmental issues, and this has heavily influenced the redevelopment plans. Members of the church hope the community will feel able to support the exciting development which will mean a lot to the Belle Vue community for many years.”
“The building will enjoy some of the best environmental credentials with the highest insulation properties, solar panels, and triple glazing. It will also be equipped with modern facilities including Wi-Fi and a well-equipped kitchen, so that community groups will be able to rent a really outstanding building.”
St Joseph’s Catholic Church, Burslem, Staffordshire ST6 4BB
On the Historic England’s Heritage At Risk Register
Catholic Archdiocese of Birmingham
£40,000 National Churches Trust Cornerstone Grant
St Joseph's church in Burslem, Stoke on Trent has been on the Historic England 'At Risk' register for some time, and the National Churches Trust’s £40,000 Cornerstone Grant will help fund a project to repair the nave roof and its eaves and gutters as well as extensive repointing of the nave clerestory and buttresses. This work will help safeguard the church and its remarkable interior including its fine painted ceiling panels.
In the words of Mrs Joan Walley (MP for Stoke on Trent 1987 – 2015), St Joseph’s is a ‘building is of huge architectural, cultural and religious value to the town of Burslem and is one we need to preserve for future generations’.
The parish of St Joseph's dates from 1895 but it wasn't until 1925 that work started on the present church, when men of Burslem prepared the foundations, often in return for a hot meal alone. The church was designed in the Lombardic style by J.S. Brocklesby. The MP for Burslem at the time, Andrew MacLaren, suggested that young people might be involved in the decoration of the church. Renowned artist and superintendent of Stoke-on-Trent art education Gordon Forsyth agreed to teach 50 young parishioners how to make 32 stained glass windows, all designed by him.
One of the most striking features of the church is the painted ceiling panels to the Nave which were undertaken by Gordon Forsyth, the then head of the Burslem School of Art and principal artist at Minton. While Gordon Forsyth was designing stained glass windows for St. Joseph's, his daughter Moira was starting to produce artwork for the church. Moira Forsyth produced the huge and stunning ceiling painting 'Christ in Glory' in individual panels in her London studio, circa 1935-37.
The work to the external fabric of the church will help safeguard these remarkable works of art which are at risk of deteriorating due to the poor condition of the roof and excess moisture levels/humidity in the church.
"It is most certainly a stunning work," says writer Carmel Dennison. "Obviously it has tremendous merit in its spiritual location, but as a stand-alone work of art it commands an important place in the social heritage of the Potteries."
"The church itself was commissioned by the parish priest Reverend William Browne and designed by the distinguished 20th century architect JS Brocklesby," Carmel says. "The style is Italian and the colours of the bricks, which were locally made at Fenton, were chosen to reflect a herringbone pattern.
"The astonishing thing about it is that it was paid for by subscription and congregation collection, and it was constructed by the hands of the unemployed men of Burslem, brought together during a time of distress and mass unemployment in the 1920s.”
"Father Browne recruited these men from around the town and paid them with a daily bowl of soup and a chunk of bread. It is a credit to Burslem's community that the church was built in such a short period of time."
Fr Christopher Miller, Parish Priest said: “We are delighted that St Joseph’s Catholic Church has been awarded a £40,000 National Churches Trust Cornerstone Grant. An ambitious design of the 1920's much of the interior decoration was carried out by local volunteers under the supervision of Gordon Forsyth, director of the local School of Art. The church is an important local landmark in an area of deprivation and as suffered neglect over recent years.”
“The future of our church, both its building and its people is beginning to look more secure. Our congregation has almost doubled in the last 12 months and we have blossoming relationships with our schools.”
“This funding will allow us to complete the urgent roof repairs and secure the exterior fabric of the building. Once this phase of work has been completed we would like to turn our attention to developing our facilities available and improving access to church."
St Peter, Baylham, Suffolk IP6 8JS
Diocese of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich
£5,000 National Churches Trust Community Grant to help fund the installation of a kitchenette and a toilet.
St Peter’s is set quite high and is visible for a considerable distance across the Gipping Valley. It is worth pausing in its pretty and peaceful churchyard to admire the surroundings and to view the church as a whole in its setting.
Parts of the building have stood for at least 890 years although there was a thorough restoration and re-ordering of the church in 1870-1.
The western tower, dating from the 14th century is sturdy and well-proportioned. What is perhaps the church’s most beautiful window is in the south nave wall to the east of the porch: a Decorated window of two-lights, again with lovely moulded curvilinear tracery of c.1320-30.
The interior of St Peter’s is in many ways a Victorian period piece, although several older features do survive. The nave and chancel, of equal width, are divided by a broad central arch; the transepts have wide and shallow arches of 1870, but the simple tower arch is the original 14th century one. The walls of the (particularly the south wall) lean outwards, betraying their great age. On the east wall, above the altar, are the words, “Holy, Holy, Holy” and flanking the east wall are double arches framing the 10 Commandments on the north side, and Lord’s Prayer and Creed on the south. This, together with the Communion rails (by Hart & Co) is all work of 1870.
A spokesman for the church said: “Our aim is to widen the use of the church in the community. We already hold concerts and talks but it is sometimes awkward not having proper facilities. If we make tea the cups have to be taken away and washed and although we have a shed at the back of the church with a chemical toilet not everyone wants to use it, especially in winter, and someone has to empty it. If we had proper facilities we could offer the church as a meeting place or even for retreats. The church will benefit in being able to hold more events in the church and increase income. As well as benefiting the local community it will also be possible to offer the church as a venue for other groups and again provide income. The provision of these services will allow a greater use of the building for community events such as book sales, coffee mornings, and visits by individuals. “
Studley Methodist Church, Studley, Warwickshire B80 7NJ
£10,000 National Churches Trust Community Grant to help make the church accessible to all.
The building will be transformed, with the steep front steps being replaced with a street-level porch, leading to a new floor at the same level inside the building. New stairs will lead to a worship area on the top floor and the hall below and a platform lift will provide access for wheel-chairs, pushchairs and the less able.
A new accessible toilet and kitchenette will also be added to make the top floor independent. Finally, the existing kitchen serving the hall will be enlarged and re-equipped to modern hygiene standards.
Situated on the main road through Studley (A435), the Methodist church is the most central place of worship in the village.
The building, opened in 1873, replaced an earlier church on another site, which was no longer big enough. The building was extended 10 years later to provide an organ, choir stalls and vestry.
Built of brick, it has the worship area on the upper floor, reached by a flight of six external stone steps, under a portico with a roof supported on stone pillars. There is a War Memorial plaque to the church members who fell in World War I as well as memorial plaques to prominent Methodist families from the village, including two large stone tablets at the front of the church, containing the 10 Commandments, the Lord's Prayer and a Creed.
St Thomas, Stourbridge, West Midlands DY8 1AQ
Diocese of Worcester
£10,000 National Churches Trust Repair Grant to repair eroded and damaged stone work which is at risk of falling off the church building.
St Thomas is an attractive Grade I listed Georgian Church situated in the town centre of Stourbridge. It is affectionately known as "St Thomas' opposite Waitrose". A Georgian building built between 1728 and 1736 by public subscription it is the only Grade I listed building in Stourbridge. It has a fine barrel-vaulted ceiling incorporating a "Holy Ghost" plaque which is the main reason for the listing. The church has a nave of four bays with Tuscan columns on high pedestals and a Western baptistery under the tower. The building was changed and added to by the Victorians
The church has many similarities to those designed by the renowned architect James Gibbs. The interior, for example, is startingly like St Martins in the Fields. Further, the Holy Ghost plaque in the ceiling is a close copy of that in St Peter's, Vere Street, London, which church Gibbs had designed for the Earl of Oxford and had finished shortly before St Thomas' was begun, so much so, indeed, that it makes one wonder whether the moulds were reused.
However, as there is no documentary proof that it was designed by him, one can only say for certain that it is in the style of James Gibbs.
There has been a thriving choir at St Thomas' church for over 150 years, singing to a very high standard and providing an amazing opportunity for generations of young musicians. During a recent visit, the Bishop of Worcester said, "St Thomas' church's reputation for musical excellence is much deserved.”
St Anne, Bewdley, Worcestershire DY12 2AE
Diocese of Worcester
£10,000 National Churches Trust Repair Grant
A £10,000 National Churches Trust Repair Grant will help fund urgent work to ensure that the church is watertight and weatherproof. This includes renewal of roof tiles and valley guttering, high level masonry renewals and improved roof insulation and interior ceiling repair work.
St Anne's church is an impressive, Georgian building that has been a focus for worship since 1748. The tower contains a peel of bells that are rung at least twice a week and often visited by bell ringing groups from around the country. The church is the main parish church for civic services and is home to a wide range of community activities that take place throughout the week including community lunches, concerts and a chess club. A café and toilets are available for visitors.
St James, Murton, Yorkshire YO19 5UJ
Diocese of York
£10,000 National Churches Trust Community Grant to install a kitchenette for catering and a disabled toilet in a small extension which will also serve as a lobby. This will extend the use and role of the church within the village, which has no village hall, post office, shop and a poor bus service, by allowing it to become a public venue which will increase community cohesion.
St James’s is a small church, squeezing in just 54 people. Some of the masonry and the south doorway may date from around 1200. For some of this time it served as a pig sty.
Apart from a few minor changes and the introduction of electricity, St James’s church appears to have changed little if at all over the centuries. As such it represents a valued and reassuring constant in today’s changing times. The little church makes a unique contribution to the community through its simple, peaceful and intimate character, and inspires deep affection amongst locals and visitors alike.
All Saints, Newton on Ouse, Yorkshire YO30 2BN
On the Historic England ‘At Risk Register’
Diocese of York
£10,000 National Churches Trust Repair Grant to fund a project for urgent repairs including re-roofing the nave and south aisle with new stone slates, replacing rotten timbers. In recent times the poor condition of the church has put visitors off. Once the repairs are completed, the church aims to encourage more people to use it, whether for concerts, exploring their history or just to appreciate the craftsmanship.
There has been a church in Newton since Saxon times. Originally dedicated to All Saints it was known as St Mary's circa 1848-1890 before reverting back to All Saints. The current Grade II Listed Building dates from 1849, although the tower is approximately 900 years old. The church was rebuilt twice in the 19th century, first in 1839 and then again in 1849. Both rebuilds were financed by the Dawnay family who resided at nearby Beningbrough Hall. John Oates was commissioned by the 6th Viscount Downe, William Henry Dawnay, to rebuild the body of the church and this was completed in 1839.
Just ten years later Dawnay's daughter the Hon. Lydia Dawnay commissioned George Townsend Andrews, the famous railway architect whose work includes York station, to rebuild the church and it was at this stage that the magnificent spire, 150ft from the ground, was added. The spire, visible from 20 miles away, reaches 150ft above the ground and was a vital navigation aid during World War II. Today it still serves as a useful aid for trainee pilots at nearby RAF Linton on Ouse.
St Wilfrid, South Kilvington, Yorkshire YO7 2NL
On the Historic England ‘At Risk Register’
Diocese of York
£10,000 National Churches Trust Repair Grant to help fund urgent repairs including stabilizing the east wall which is moving out from the top, repair the sanctuary roof and floor from water damage and replace any damaged roof tiles and rainwater goods.
In better condition and with better facilities more activity can take place in the church. The school can use it more for their history/creative writing classes and the wider community will be able to hold clubs and other meetings as appropriate.
South Kilvington is mentioned in the Domesday Book as Cheluitun in the Yarlestre hundred. The entry refers to the area around North Kilvington that was owned by Earl Edwin at the time of the Norman invasion and then granted to the Crown. Henry Percy, 4th Earl of Northumberland was said to have been killed here in 1489 by a mob of protesters against taxation.
St Wilfrid was built in approximately 1271. One of the most prominent rectors was De Scope who went on to be Archbishop of York, and donated the font, which is of frosterly marble. Most of the pews were made by W. Kingsley who was rector for 58 years (1859-1917). Other notable features include the shingled bell tower, a Norman window and remodelled Norman doorway in the nave and another Norman window in the chancel, and the early 14th century East window.
Second Killyleagh Presbyterian Church, Killyleagh, Co Down, N Ireland BT30 9QQ
£20,000 National Churches Trust Community Grant to fund a project to refurbish and modernise the church and halls while still maintaining the building's traditional characteristics. The project will include providing:
- A brighter, more welcoming entrance
- Improved kitchen with new units
- Toilets to be upgraded and toilet for disabled to be improved by installing an emergency cord and hot water geyser
- Eradicate damp ingress in church and adjoining halls
- The overall aim is to provide a welcoming, attractive, comfortable and easily accessible environment where people of all ages and backgrounds can meet, find help and support.
The church is located in a Conservation area in the centre of the model plantation village which was laid out in the early 16th century. The Conservation Designation document recognised the historic importance and quality of the townscape and highlighted "deserving of special mention is the attractive Second Presbyterian Church designed in Doric classical style with Gothic features." The village's most famous son was Sir Hans Sloane, founder of the British Museum, Natural History Museum and British Library. The church building was erected in 1840 and celebrated its 175 year anniversary in 2015.
The church’s youth organisations work hard at attracting young people who are at risk of marginalisation, showing the benefits of a positive lifestyle. Sectarian tensions and disturbances surface in the village at certain times of the year but the church’s warm relationship with its Roman Catholic neighbours in St Mary's Star of the Sea is a positive example to others.
Annan United Reformed Church, Annan, Dumfries and Galloway DG12 6AT
£10,000 National Churches Trust Community Grant to help fund a project including upgrading toilet facilities, creating a tea-making area away from the main kitchen for groups using the church and to remove pews and level the flooring creating a large open area for flexible space for Sunday Worship, use by community groups and youth organisations.
Annan United Reformed Church was built circa 1903 and apart from small changes remains very much as it was when it was built. The interior of the church has a sloping floor with fixed pews and is capable of sitting 180 people. There is a well maintained organ. Perhaps the most striking feature in the church is the pulpit which, as the church was built by the Fishermen in the town, represents the bow and bridge of a boat.
St Bride Roman Catholic Church, East Kilbride G74 1NN
Category A listed
Roman Catholic Diocese of Motherwell
St Bride's Roman Catholic Church has been hailed as an amazing piece of contemporary ecclesiastical architecture and received the RIBA bronze medal for architecture in 1964, for the area of the Glasgow Institute of Architects. The church, including Presbytery and Ancillary Buildings, is a Category 'A' Listed Gillespie, Kidd and Coia Church in East Kilbride, completed 1963-64.
The church is a Scottish interpretation of the brutalist style of 1960's architecture and is one of the finest buildings to be produced by one of the most influential Scottish practices of the era. St Bride's is the 'Mother Church' in East Kilbride, the first New Town to be designated in Scotland in 1947, the same year that the Diocese of Motherwell was founded.
In 2013 St Bride's Church was named in the top 3 of the Best Modern Churches architecture competition run by the National Churches Trust, the Ecclesiastical Architects and Surveyor's Association and the 20th Century Society. The church was picked out from over 200 entries UK-wide and is the only church in Scotland to make the 3 places of worship judged to be the best sacred places built in the last 60 years - St Bride's taking home the National Churches bronze award.
The £40,000 National Churches Trust Cornerstone Grant will help to fund a major project of repairs and renewal to return the building nearer to its original condition. The essential fabric repairs and restoration works will provide a watertight envelope with restored features allowing the Church to continue to function properly as a place of worship.
At the last Census, East Kilbride had a population of 74,395 and it is hoped that this wider community will benefit from the project together with the Parish, which has an estimated population of 4,000. In terms of the wider community, St. Bride's Church is already a tourist attraction and, when restored, it will allow people to engage with the architecture and history of the New Town.
Works to be carried out include the full removal and replacement of the roof cladding together with the copper cladding to the feature roof dormers and repairs to the steelwork forming the main roof supports. The replacement of the vertical polycarbonate sheets forming the roof lights with single patent glazing will be carried out along with the full reinstatement of the glazing and associated flashings to the light chimneys. All four elevations of the church will have stainless steel wall ties retrofitted into the mortar joints to improve the structural stability of the superstructure. Heavily weathered bricks are to be cut out and replaced along with non-matching bricks inserted during previous patch repairs. Full re-pointing and lead repairs/replacement including forming angled fillets over projecting brickwork will also be undertaken as will repairs to the cast iron external downpipes on the north and south elevations of the church.
Fr. Jim Thomson, Treasurer of the Diocese of Motherwell said:
“We are delighted that St. Bride's Roman Catholic Church has been awarded a £40,000 National Churches Trust Cornerstone Grant. Our Church has received many architectural awards and much professional admiration throughout the years and it is therefore very fitting that 50 years on from its dedication it is being restored to its original glory, not just for the Parish community and East Kilbride, but for the wider international design community. The funding, along with the other grants we have received, will allow us to refurbish the roof and restore the brickwork, one of the key elements of the Church. This essential work will not only preserve the fabric, but will reinstate many of the original details allowing natural daylight to flood back into the building. Once this work has been completed St. Bride's Roman Catholic Church will be able to plan for the future with confidence and build on what is already a thriving Parish community.”
St Martin of Tours Episcopal Church, Edinburgh, Midlothian EH11 2JG
Category B Listed
£10,000 National Churches Trust Community Grant to fund a project to modernise the Victorian building to create a resource for all. Work being funded includes creating a community hall, offices for 2 local organisations, toilets and completing the main entrance into the building. Once transformed, the church will become comfortable, modern and environmentally friendly for use by the whole community, seven days a week, throughout the year.
Originally built as a Baptist Church, the building is a late 19th century gothic revival church with gabled porch and transepts and a projecting 3-stage tower with a spire at one corner. Internally, the building is on two levels with the worship space, kitchen and accessible toilet, including a balcony, on the upper (street) level and a multi-purpose hall and office spaces located on the lower level.
The congregation of St Martin's took residence in the 1980s. As a congregation, St Martin's was established in 1884 as a mission station from St Mary's Episcopal Cathedral in Palmerston Place, in the west of the city centre.
St Mary, Clydach, Swansea SA6 5LF
Diocese of Swansea and Brecon
£10,000 National Churches Trust Repair Grant to help fund urgent repairs to the roof including the localised repair of damaged and missing slates to all the roof coverings, repair and replacement of all the rainwater goods.
St Mary’s, Clydach offers one of the most imposing, and architecturally accomplished churches in South Wales. Major repair work is now needed if this architectural achievement and irreplaceable workmanship is to be passed on to future generations
St Mary's church is a particularly elaborate early 20th century (1904-05) church, built in the Gothic style. The church was built as the population of Clydach grew with the success of its industries, notably tinplate. It was designed by E M Bruce Vaughan FRIBA of Sawnsea. Bruce Vaughan was an architect working across industrial South Wales in a free Gothic style, after the school of the nationally renowned architect G F Bodley.
The church is of importance today because of the quality, inventiveness and consistency of its detailing and construction; its lofty scale; the quality of its stained glass; remarkable reredos, and other later additions; the fact that it is (to date) largely unaltered; and the strong and poignant record it holds for the community of Clydach.
St Chad, Hanmer, Wrexham, Wales SY13 3EA
St Asaph Diocese
£10,000 National Churches Trust Repair Grant to help fund a project to provide new lead side aisle roofs will help to maintain a dry, warm and safe environment for the people who use the church for a wide range of uses. There are frequent occurrences of rain water coming through the roof during bad weather that is affecting the delicately carved oak ceilings of both side aisles. Water is also dripping down onto the organ pipes, the sound system control box and the upholstery of the side aisle chairs.
Hanmer does not have a village/community hall. The church is used for a variety of other uses, e.g. arts and craft exhibitions, village primary school weekly visits, PTA Autumn fairs, choir concerts, lectures, mothers union meetings, PCC meetings and Heritage group visits.
St Chad’s is a beautiful church in a splendid setting with a wonderful heritage. The old medieval stone church, predecessor to the present church, dates from the middle of the 12thcentury. It was this first stone church that saw the marriage of Margaret Hanmer to Owain Glyndwr in about 1383. It was badly damaged in 1463 in the Wars of the Roses at the time when the great Welsh language poet, Dafydd ab Edmund, lived and wrote here. It was occupied in the Civil War and a battle took place here in 1643. It had a new roof in 1892 after a damaging fire. The poet R S Thomas was curate here in the first years of WWII.
What we see today is the third restoration after the major fires of 1463 and 1889. The original 12th century style and plan were retained through each reconstruction, so in its graceful pillars we have an architectural continuity of over 700 years. Today this church remains a heritage treasure and centre of a village community.
Bethel Community Church, Newport, Pembrokeshire, Wales NP20 1JG
Grade II Listed
£10,000 National Churches Trust Community Grant to fund eradication of dry rot in stairwell, repairs to mid-level windows, and eradication of dry rot in eastern wall/balcony.
Bethel Community Church is an old Wesleyan Church, opened in 1884, and is described in the CADW listing as an impressive Gothic chapel by a prominent firm of local architects. Architecturally it is built in pennant stone with bathstone dressings. There is a spire, with a bell stage and a gothic doorway. There are gabled bays and the windows are varied, both gothic and geometric with shouldered arches and lights and with geometrical tracery. There is a large tripartite Decorated style window. Bethel Community Church bought the building in the early 60's and have converted it with the lower level used for schoolrooms and community use, a worship area (also occasionally used by the community) at street level.