Easter funding boost for churches

Published: Tuesday, April 7, 2020

 

31 churches and chapels are being helped with grants totalling over £330,000 thanks to the National Churches Trust.

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

 “The UK's historic churches and chapels are a vital part of our national heritage. During the coronavirus pandemic churches are doing so much to help vulnerable local people and boost morale”.

“Many churches need to carry out urgent repairs and install modern facilities to ensure their buildings can continue to be used well into the future. But the cost of this work is often far beyond what most congregations can pay for themselves.”

“So I’m delighted that the Trust is providing grants of £330,000 to keep more churches and chapels in good repair so that they can remain open and benefit local people.”

National Churches Trust helps the UK's churches

In 2019, the Trust distributed £1.2 million to help churches and chapels tackle urgent repairs, maintenance work and install modern facilities such as kitchens and toilets.

In 2020, the Trust plans to distribute £1.4 million in grants. Additionally, this year the Trust will administer the distribution of £200,000 of funding through the Wolfson Fabric Repair Grants. Full details can be found at www.nationalchurchestrust.org/grants

Our work is made possible by the generosity of our Friends and supporters, including Trusts and Foundations. Why not help us to save more churches by  becoming a Friend.

Churches being helped include:

  • All Saints', Hove, Sussex. A £40,000 National Churches Trust Cornerstone Grant will help restore All Saints' two east towers and preserve its historic fabric for the future. All Saints’ was designed by John Pearson, best known for Truro Cathedral, and constructed between 1889 and 1901.
  • Lancaster Priory. A £13,000 National Churches Trust Cornerstone Grant will help fund repairs to the tower at the Grade I listed Lancaster Priory, making the church watertight and preserving its historic fabric. Lancaster Priory is located on a position that has seen Christian worship since Saxon times. The present church dates from 1430.
  • St Bartholomew the Great, London. A £10,000 National Churches Trust Cornerstone Grant will help fund repair of the Lady Chapel roof at the Grade I listed St Bartholomew the Great Church, Smithfield, making the church watertight and preserving its historic fabric. The Augustinian Priory was founded on the site in 1123 and the Lady Chapel was built in about 1336. The church is an attractive location for filming.  Probably most famously, it is featured as the location of the fourth wedding in the 1994 film Four Weddings and a Funeral.
  • St Boniface’, Quinton, Birmingham. A £7,000 National Churches Trust Cornerstone Grant will help fund roof repairs, the removal of dangerous asbestos and support other improvements at St Boniface’ church, making it watertight and preserving its fabric for the future. Built in 1958, the church is an important building for the local community.

Full details
Full details of 16 Cornerstone Grants for fabric repairs and the installation of modern facilities  can be found below, listed in alphabetical order of Counties. A photo gallery can be viewed at the bottom of this page and on Flickr.

In addition 15 Gateway Grants have been awarded to fund a range of church building maintenance and development projects.

CHESHIRE

1. St Mary the Virgin church, Bosley

Church of England - Diocese of Chester - Grade II*

A £15,000 National Churches Trust Cornerstone Grant will help provide disabled access, toilet facilities, a warm environment and dedicated area for preparation and serving refreshments at the Grade II* listed St Mary the Virgin church, Bosley.

About the church
The site has been a religious meeting place for over 600 years. The church was originally dedicated to St Thomas a Becket of Canterbury but later this was changed to St Lawrence and then to St Mary the Virgin. It was granted the right to have a font and burial ground by Pope Boniface in a Papal Bull of April 1402. The churchyard contains a Commonwealth War grave and historic sundial. Inside the church is a monument to the construction of the local railway and viaduct and those who lost lives building it.

2. St Philip’s church, Kelsall

Church of England - Diocese of Chester - Grade II

A £15,000 National Churches Trust Cornerstone Grant will help fund the installation of kitchen facilities, a disabled toilet and a meeting space at the Grade II listed St Philip church, Kelsall.

The church
The church was built in 1860 to the designs of Thomas Bower of Nantwich. Kelly’s directory of Cheshire for 1906 describes St Philips as ‘an edifice of stone in the Gothic style, consisting of chancel, nave, south porch and an open eastern turret containing one bell: there are 300 sittings.’ People must have been much smaller as the church now estimate that it has only 200 seats! 

GLOUCESTERSHIRE

St Mary the Virgin church, Olveston

Church of England - Diocese of Bristol - Grade II*

A £20,000 National Churches Trust Cornerstone Grant will help fund the underpinning of the stair tower foundations and other building repairs at the Grade II* listed St Mary the Virgin church, Olveston, making the church watertight and preserving its historic fabric.

About the church

The church was built around the central Norman tower around 1150 and was substantially rebuilt in the fourteenth century. There is record of a priest at Olveston in the Domesday Book but the earliest recorded Vicar dates from 1280. The tower originally had a spire, but lightning struck the church in 1604. The pyramidal roof dates from the subsequent rebuilding with the addition of four decorated pinnacles. The chancel was re-ordered in 1748 and the church was lengthened and repaired in 1841 and restored in 1888-9.

HERTFORDSHIRE

St Catherine’s church, Sacombe

Church of England - Diocese of St Albans - Grade II*

A £10,000 National Churches Trust Cornerstone Grant will help fund the installation of kitchen and toilet facilities at the Grade II* listed St Catherine’s church, Sacombe, making the church better able to serve its local community.

About the church
The oldest parts of the present building date back to the Early English Period (1189-1280). The church was restored in 1855-6 with the roof, tower, vestry and west wall being rebuilt. The outside of the church was entirely refaced with flint.  The churchyard was designated a County Wildlife Site, following a survey in 1996. More than 50 species of flowers and grasses have been identified. Rabbits, badgers, muntjac and other deer also frequent the churchyard, which is also home to over 40 different types of lichen.

LANCASHIRE

 St Mary’s Priory church, Lancaster

Church of England - Diocese of Blackburn - Grade I

A £13,000 National Churches Trust Cornerstone Grant will help fund repairs to the tower at the Grade I listed Lancaster Priory, making the church watertight and preserving its historic fabric.

About the church
Lancaster Priory is located on a position that has seen Christian worship since Saxon times. It is of huge historical and architectural importance and one of the most frequently visited parish churches in the North West. It is the mother church of the City of Lancaster, and well-known and respected throughout Lancashire. It stands proudly above the city with the nearby Castle.

It is likely that a Roman building existed on the site around AD 200. A Saxon church is thought to have stood on the site from the 6th century. Later a Norman Priory was built. An important collection of Anglo Saxon carvings are on display at the west end.

The present church dates from 1430, with some of the stones reused from the earlier buildings. Inside a beautiful carved pulpit dates from 1619. The stone base of the font was installed in 1848 and its carved wooden cover is dated 1631. Another highlight are three brass candelabra which date from 1717. The church has fourteen carved choir stalls made of oak and which date from 1345; the famous architectural writer Nikolaus Pevsner called them: “About the most luxuriant canopies in the country” and Charles Tracy in his 1987 book English Gothic Choir Stalls wrote: “There is nothing comparable in England in wood or any other medium”.

LONDON

St Bartholomew the Great church, Smithfield, City of London

Church of England - Diocese of London - Grade I

A £10,000 National Churches Trust Cornerstone Grant will help fund repair of the Lady Chapel roof at the Grade I listed St Bartholomew the Great Church, Smithfield, making the church watertight and preserving its historic fabric. The project will see the entire roof re-leaded.

About the church

The Augustinian Priory was founded on the site in 1123 at the same time as the neighbouring hospital by Rahere, who was a courtier to King Henry I. In about 1336 the Lady Chapel was built. Great alterations were made about 1405.

The Priory was supressed in 1539 by King Henry VIII. The nave, transepts and many other parts of the church were dismantled. The Lady Chapel and the rest of the monastic buildings were sold to Sir Richard Rich.

The Choir survived as a parish church. After the suppression the remains of the church suffered greatly from encroachment and fire. A restoration began in 1863 and was resumed in 1885 under the direction of Sir Aston Webb, RA, whose brother was for many years a churchwarden. The restoration began with the lowering of the church floor by two and a half feet. The apse was restored in two phases and the transepts rebuilt. The Lady Chapel was rebuilt and a new porch added in 1893.

Having survived the Great Fire of London in 1666, it also escaped serious damage in both World Wars; St Bartholomew the Great can therefore claim to be the oldest extant church in London.

The striking architecture of Great St Barts, coupled with its location in an area that is very quiet at weekends, has made it an attractive location for filming.  Probably most famously, it is featured as the location of the fourth wedding in the 1994 film Four Weddings and a Funeral.

NORFOLK 

1. Holy Cross church, Caston

Church of England - Diocese of Norwich - Grade I

A £10,000 National Churches Trust Cornerstone Grant will help fund the installation of an accessible toilet at the Grade I listed Holy Cross church, Caston, making the church better able to serve its local community.

About the church

The earliest mention of a church in Caston is in a document of 1218 but it is likely that there was one on this site earlier. The fine 14th Century tower is a principal feature of the church. The roof has a fine brass candelabra containing 18 candles and is believed to have come originally from Hampton Court Palace. The font has an octagonal bowl and is early 15th Century. A total rethatch of the nave and chancel roofs and repairs to roof timbers and ceiling boards were completed in 2018.

2. St Andrew’s church, Thurning

Church of England - Diocese of Norwich - Grade II

A £15,000 National Churches Trust Cornerstone Grant will help fund roof repairs at the Grade II listed St Andrew’s church, Thurning, making the church watertight and preserving its historic fabric.  

About the church

The church was built in the early 14th Century. It was originally thatched but was, at an unknown date, changed to slate. The chancel collapsed in the 17th Century. In 1825, box pews, a triple-decker pulpit and other elements were installed; they came from the church's patrons, Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, when they were renovating their chapel. It is believed that the current slates date from that time. 

 SHROPSHIRE 

St Lucia’s church, Upton Magna, Shropshire

Church of England - Diocese of Lichfield - Grade II*

A £10,000 National Churches Trust Cornerstone Grant will help fund the installation of a servery and toilet at the Grade II* listed St Lucia’s church, Upton Magna.

About the church

There has been a Christian community worshipping in St Lucia’s, formally St Lucy, the patron Saint of eyesight, for over a thousand years. The church was built in Grinshill stone at a similar time to nearby Haughmond Abbey. The Nave and Chancel date from at least the 12th century with existing pairs of small Norman, possibly Saxon round arched windows; archaeologists believe some foundation stones are also Saxon. The 15th century west tower is a "glorious example of Perpendicular architecture.”

The church was substantially rebuilt and restored by the Gothic Revival architect G.E Street in 1856 including a scheme of internal decoration, much of which was subsequently covered over in the 1950’s, but conservationists  have recently been carrying out work to reveal some of this painting.

The church has recently been removed from the Historic England At Risk Register, following a year of extensive repairs and restoration plus the installation of a new heating system.

SOMERSET

 All Saints’ church, Castle Cary

Church of England - Diocese of Bath & Wells - Grade II*

A £15,000 National Churches Trust Cornerstone Grant will help fund repairs to the roof of All Saints’ church making it watertight and preserving its historic fabric.

About the church
There has been Christian worship on this site for over a thousand years, possibly since Saxon times. The present building, in late Gothic perpendicular style, dates from 1460. The church was restored and modernised by Benjamin Ferrey, enabling it to accommodate up to 730 people and making the tower taller and more grand. Its steeple can be seen from far away and is unusual in Somerset where the tradition is for elaborate towers. It is an iconic feature of the town’s landscape.

There are also delightfully grotesque carvings at roof level. The 15th century octagonal font is the most distinguished piece of furnishing in the church. It has very fine ornate flower motifs round the underside of the bowl. Running down the centre of the nave is a series of handsome floor monuments to members of the Cary and Russ families dating from the time of Charles II (1660-1685).

SUFFOLK

St Mary’s church, Bentley

Church of England - Diocese of St Edmundsbury & Ipswich - Grade II*

A £10,000 National Churches Trust Cornerstone Grant will help fund the installation of toilet and kitchen facilities into the Grade II* listed St Mary’s church, Bentley, Suffolk.

About the church:

The Austin priory of the Holy Trinity, Ipswich, held Bentley church in 1291 and the church's first vicar was appointed in 1305. The church has a 12th century nave and chancel and parts of the original south door surround still survive, as does a 12th century stained glass window in the chancel. The tower was built in the 15th century. The nave interior roof is late medieval hammer beam.  A number of unique floor and wall monuments exist, mostly dedicated to the Tollemache family, who took Bentley as their family seat.

SUSSEX

 All Saints’ church, Hove

Church of England - Diocese of Chichester - Grade I

A £40,000 National Churches Trust Cornerstone Grant will help restore All Saints' two east towers and preserve its historic fabric for the future.

About the church

All Saints', Hove has been described as “probably the most magnificent of our 19th century parish churches in England”. A late Victorian Gothic style church, built of Sussex sandstone and Sussex oak at near cathedral size, it was designed by John Pearson, best known for Truro Cathedral, and constructed between 1889 and 1901.

All Saints was designed to match the imposing Hove Town Hall, and became the parish church in 1891 when the core of the building had been completed.
Composer Ralph Vaughan-Williams was married in the church in 1897. The church’s organ is one of the finest Hill organs in England, encased in an outstanding double fronted organ-case of magnificent proportions. Other internal fixtures include oak choir stalls and canopies, a stone pulpit and a red marble seven sided font.

The church has been in constant use since its consecration, and was treated as the main church of Hove, being regularly used for Civic Ceremonies until Brighton and Hove Boroughs amalgamated in 1997.

The church is currently on the Historic England At Risk Register.

WEST MIDLANDS

St Boniface’ church, Quinton, Birmingham

Church of England - Diocese of Birmingham  - Unlisted

A £7,000 National Churches Trust Cornerstone Grant will help fund roof repairs, the removal of dangerous asbestos and support other improvements at St Boniface’ church, Quinton, making the church watertight and preserving its fabric for the future.

About the church
The church was built in 1958. As part of the redevelopment of Birmingham, council estates were built around the outskirts of the city to re-house people currently living there. Quinton was one of these council estates. Previously farmland, the church was built in this new estate that was created in the late 1950s after the war. The church has been active in the area since its creation and with many other key buildings in the area now demolished and turned into houses, the church remains an original key feature and remains an important building in the area and is an integral part of the community.  

WILTSHIRE

St Michael and All Angels’ church, Kington St Michael

Church of England - Diocese of Bristol - Grade II*

A £10,000 National Churches Trust Cornerstone Grant will help fund the installation of refreshment and toilet facilities at the Grade II* listed St Michael and All Angels’ church, Kington St Michael, making the church better able to serve its local community.

About the church
The church of St Michael and All Angels features a Norman chancel arch and doorway. The timbers over the porch are original and date from the later 13th or early 14th century. The original tower had an "overweight" spire added to it. This fell druring the great storm of 1703 but a drawing of the edifice by John Aubrey survives. On Christmas Day, 1990, in another major storm, one of the tower pinnacles fell during the first carol of the morning service, and crashed into the roof.  Although the church was crowded, no-one was seriously hurt.  Following this, major renovations were carried out. 

YORKSHIRE

All Saints’ church, Pavement, York

Church of England - Diocese of York - Grade I

A £10,000 National Churches Trust Cornerstone Grant will help fund repairs to the rainwater goods, roof, masonry and windows at the Grade I listed Parish Church of All Saints’, Pavement, York making the church watertight and preserving its historic fabric.

About the church 
 
There is a tradition that All Saints was built in AD 685 for St Cuthbert and is listed in the Domesday Book  as being held by the Bishop of Durham in the name of the King. The church was restored in 1887 by George Edmund Street when the stonework was cleaned, the pinnacles restored, and the central east window fitted with stained glass by Charles Eamer Kempe.  It is the Guild Church of York and the the Regimental Church of The Royal Dragoon Guards. It is the preferred Church of the ex-Service Associations in the York area. 

 

WALES

MONMOUTHSHIRE

St Michael’s church, Tintern, Monmouthshire

Church in Wales - Grade II

A £20,000 National Churches Trust Cornerstone Grant will help fund the installation of toilets and a kitchen at the Grade II listed St Michael’s church, Tintern, making the church better able to serve its local community.

About the church

St Michael’s is a small church sitting on the Welsh bank of the River Wye. It was the location of a Celtic church long before the Cistercian monks arrived to create Tintern Abbey. It could well have been used by King Tewdric, a local Welsh chieftain who came out of retirement as a hermit in Tintern to defeat the Saxons in a battle close by.

While much of the church dates back to medieval times, it took its present form in 1846 when it was enlarged. The medieval fabric survives to some considerable degree and the South Porch dates from the late 15th century and is unusually elaborate with a vaulted ceiling; the quadripartite vault with corner colenettes and narrow stone bench seats is of importance.

In 1839, WH Thomas wrote, "By the churchyard stile, and beneath the dark mantling boughs of the yew, a scene of exquisite sweetness steals upon the eye - the beautiful meadows beyond are skirted by a ridge of lofty woods, with the gentle Wye flowing like a liquid mirror below.... the unmolested sheep repose in grateful shade". This is a picture largely unchanged some 180 years on.