Nine churches in Northern Ireland are to benefit from £200,000 of funding thanks to a grant awarded to the National Churches Trust by the Historic Environment at the Department for Communities.
The money will boost the National Churches Trust’s grants for urgent repairs and support for churches, addressing the impact of climate change on historic buildings. The nine successful projects are all led by conservation accredited professionals, with work ranging from replacement of water goods to external rendering.
The churches include the iconic Ballintoy Parish Church on the Causeway Coast. It was awarded a £40,000 grant to resolve issues of water penetration. In Newry, Co Down the Cathedral of Saint Patrick and Saint Colman also received support of £40,000. It will aid repairs to stone and plaster work. Other churches receiving funding include Whitehead Methodist Church; St James, Moy; St Mary’s, Fivemiletown; St John’s Dunnalong Parish; All Saints, Clooney Derry City; Woodvale Methodist Church; and St Patrick’s, Cranagh in the heart of the Sperrin mountains.
Ballintoy and St James, Moy also received an additional grant of £5,000 each, allocated by the National Churches Trust on behalf of the Wolfson Foundation.
Nigel Mills, Interim Head of Church Support for the National Churches Trust said: "We are delighted with the £200,000 funding boost from the Department for Communities Historic Environment Division. The money will allow us to keep more church and chapel buildings in Northern Ireland in good repair. That is especially important due to the challenge of maintaining an historic building which is facing increasing extreme weather conditions such as storms, wind, rain, and higher temperatures.”
Broadcaster and journalist Huw Edwards, Vice President of The National Churches Trust, said: “I’m delighted that nine historic places of worship in Northern Ireland are being helped with a National Churches Trust grant. The funding will help fund facilitate urgent repairs, safeguarding unique local heritage and making it possible for the churches to continue support local people.”
The National Churches Trust supports churches and chapels of all denominations that are open for worship. Since 2007 it has supported sixty-four places of worship in Northern Ireland with funding of £669,309 for urgent repairs, the provision of toilets, kitchens and other community facilities and essential maintenance.