Funding lifeline for 55 churches
Published: Tuesday, September 14, 2021
55 churches across the UK are being helped with grants totalling £328,000.
The grants are our latest round of funding to places of worship in 2021 and are made possible thanks to our Friends, including the Wolfson Foundation and the Pilgrim Trust.
We are supporting a tremendous range of churches including:
- Grade I Listed St Mary in Wycliffe, County Durham, which traces its origins to the age of St Cuthbert in the 9th century and the present church has woodwork by Robert 'Mouseman' Thompson.
- The Grade A Listed Edinburgh church of St John the Evangelist in the Portobello district of Edinburgh. The historic Roman Catholic church building was designed by the architect JT Walford and was completed in 1906.
- St Matthew's church in Bethnal Green, London, Grade II* and built to the design of George Dance the Elder.
- St Mary the Virgin, Oxenhope, Yorkshire, the Grade II Listed church will benefit from roof repairs and insulation, helping to reduce its carbon footprint.
We are also helping five more churches in Northern Ireland through our Treasure Ireland project.
£111,000 of the funding is provided by Wolfson Fabric Repair Grants, as part of our partnership with the Wolfson Foundation to support listed churches in the UK.
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 have found it hard to raise money for building projects during the Covid-19 pandemic."
"The grant will safeguard unique local heritage in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and provide a real boost to the people who look after and use churches and chapels as we begin to emerge from lockdowns."
Paul Ramsbottom, Chief Executive at the Wolfson Foundation, said:
"Churches play a central role in the spiritual life of a community, but they are also an integral, much loved, part of our cultural heritage. We are delighted to be working in partnership with the National Churches Trust on this important programme supporting the preservation of these remarkable and wonderful buildings."
Full details of the latest grants
Full details of Cornerstone Grants awarded 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.
Additional grants to fund a range of church building maintenance, small repair and development projects in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have been awarded via the National Churches Trust and by the Wolfson Foundation and with the support of the Pilgrim Trust and in Northern Ireland thanks to the support of the National Lottery Heritage Fund, the Pilgrim Trust, the Department for Communities and the Wolfson Foundation. Information about all our August 2021 Grants.
St Mary, Wycliffe
Grade I - Church of England
A £18,000 National Churches Trust Cornerstone Grant will help fund work to St Mary and keep the church at the heart of the local community. The grant will help to fund installing a disabled access, an accessible toilet and kitchenette in a small extension. The work will enable the church to invite new users to the building and there are plans to create a new website, information boards, and a children's trail.
The church and 'village' of Wycliffe were built by Bishop Ecgred of Lindisfarne in about 830-840 and given to St Cuthbert.
The present church was constructed 1250-1350. However, there are still a number of carved Saxon stones, including a lintel, cross fragments and a hogback gravestone, from the original building, which have recently been placed on display.
All the pews, choir stalls, communion rails, rectors' board and pulpit were made by Robert Thompson (the 'Mouseman'). The church is associated with John Wycliff, the 14th century reformer, described by Martin Luther as the 'Morning Star of the Reformation'. The artist, JMW Turner, also visited, inspired by the beautiful setting and the Wycliff connection.
Grade II - Church of England
A £10,000 National Churches Trust Cornerstone Grant will help fund work to Holy and Undivided Trinity and keep the church at the heart of the local community. The work will fund the building of an extension for an accessible toilet and internal re-ordering. This includes some levelling and rearrangement of paths and steps to support disabled access and access for prams and buggies. Some internal re-ordering at the back of the church of display and storage areas to create better and more welcoming display and hospitality area used after services and during social/arts events and the restoration of the Vestry to its original use.
The present church, the third to be built in Edale, was consecrated by the Bishop of Southwell on June 26 1886. The first two buildings stood across the road within the old graveyard. The first chapel was built in 1633 and consecrated on Trinity Sunday 1634 by the Bishop of Coventry and Lichfield. The chapel was rebuilt on the same site in 1812. The font from the original chapel still stands in the old graveyard.
The new church was designed by William Dawes of Manchester (architect) and was built by Thomas Beck of Matlock Bridge. The foundation stone was laid on May 22 1885 by Lord Edward Cavendish, son of the then Duke of Devonshire of Chatsworth House. The tower and spire, built by Alfred Hill of Litton and Tideswell, were completed four years after the main building. Stone from the old chapel was used in the building whilst new stone was quarried in Nether Tor.
The church's east window (1896), is a memorial to a former vicar, the Revd John Champion by a young John Ninian Comper, then around 31-32 years old. The north windows (1906 and 1932) are important features too, as they were also designed by Sir Ninian Comper and his signature mark of a small strawberry motif can be seen in both. The motif came into use after the death of Comper's father.
Grade II - Church of England
The grant will fund repairs to the roof, including the bellcote, apse and parapets. The repairs will make St Luke's a more welcoming and sustainable building. In 2019 it launched a co-worker space called "The Host" in the main church building. The church is confident that it will attract more users if the building is warm, welcoming and weatherproof.
St Luke and St Peter is on the Historic England 'At Risk' Register.
The church was completed in 1861 and consecrated in 1864. St Luke's was designed by Victorian architect, Thomas Hellyer, following a competition. The design is notable because its nave, aisles, apse and a 'west' gallery have references to Norman style, and dormer windows take the place of a clerestory. In addition to the dormer windows, light comes from nine windows in the north aisle, ten in the south aisle and three more in the apse. The church is built with bricks but the exterior is of flint with stone dressings, whilst the interior is a five-bay arcade of red and yellow brick columns with scalloped capitals. The church is little changed since it was built except that the pews have been removed.
Theologically, the building has been designed in an evangelical style with an emphasis on preaching and mission, demonstrated by the relatively plain interior and the installation of text boards. The church closed in 2009 and was added to Historic England's 'Heritage At Risk' Register. It was then reopened in 2014 with a view to it eventually being restored and the site being regenerated.
Grade II* - Church of England
A £18,000 National Churches Trust Cornerstone Grant will help fund work to St Matthew, Bethnal Green, and keep the church at the heart of the local community. The grant will help to fund refurbishing a kitchen and toilets, enabling the church to meet its obligations under the Disability Discrimination Act.
St Matthew's was built in 1743-6 following the unrealised ambitions of the 50 Churches Commission of 1711, to build a church in Bethnal Green to designs drawn up by Nicholas Hawksmoor.
The church was eventually built to the design of George Dance the Elder (1695-1768) then Clerk of Works to the City of London and the original drawings for it are held in the Soane Museum.
The exterior retains much of its classical grandeur from this significant period of church-building in the capital. Fire destroyed the original interior in 1859. In 1861 the new church was reopened to the designs of TE Knightely. The interior of the building suffered bomb damage in 1940, leaving the church a roofless shell. A temporary church was built within the walls and many of the furnishings for this church survived from other local bombed churches. A number of them are still in the church today.
In 1957 it was decided to rebuild the church and the present building was re-consecrated on 15 July 1961. The enlightened vision of the architect Antony Lewis included commissioning young artists of the period and ensuring that their work was integral to the structure of the building. The interior, with its concrete columns, faced African hard-woods and elm veneered folding screen is considered an example of a 'bold' post-war interior.
Grade II - Church of England
Church website: www.suckleyspace.org.uk
A £10,000 National Churches Trust Cornerstone Grant will help fund work to St John the Baptist and keep the church at the heart of the local community. The grant will facilitate the installation of a much needed kitchen and toilet with a mezzanine floor above that will create an additional sound-proof 'children's room'.
Completed 1879, designed by architect William Jeffrey Hopkins, this is a large Victorian church in rural countryside.
Built of grey Cradley sandstone with Bath stone facings it features a 12th century font, a 14th century Easter sepulchre and 16th century panels in pulpit. The base of a medieval preaching cross and two other listed monuments are prominent in the church's south churchyard.
Grade II - Church of England
A £10,000 National Churches Trust Cornerstone Grant will help fund work to St Mary the Virgin and keep the church at the heart of the local community. The grant will facilitate roof repairs and insulating the building to reduce its carbon footprint.
In 1845 the Revd Joseph Brett Grant was appointed as the first incumbent of the new Parish of Oxenhope. There was no Anglican church to serve the parish, so he held the first services in a nearby wool combing shop. Revd Grant worked tirelessly to raise funds for a new church and his efforts were rewarded when on 14 February 1849, the foundation stone of a new church was laid. Construction proceeded quickly and on October 11 of the same year, the church was consecrated by the Bishop of Ripon.
The church was built in the Norman style with a squat tower open to a single bell at its top. The columns forming the nave arcade and the central column in the east side of the tower were each formed from a block of solid stone which echoed the construction of Durham Cathedral. The general outline of the building is in strict harmony with the scenery and its plan comprises a tower, nave, north aisle and chancel, with the sacristy on the north side.
Grade B - Scottish Episcopal Church
A £10,000 National Churches Trust Cornerstone Grant will help fund work to St John the Evangelist and keep the church at the heart of the local community. The grant will facilitate the installation of a much needed accessible toilet. The new facilities will allow the church to welcome more visitors enjoying the "North Coast 500" route which passes through the town.
Designed by architect Alexander Ross, the church was completed in 1870 and included seating for about 110 people, at a cost of £1,245. Of regional importance, St John's is a small, plain, Gothic church with chancel. The church structure remains unaltered from when first built.
St John's includes some impressive stained glass windows. The west window depicting the Nativity is by James Ballantine & Sons and dates from 1875. The east window of the same date features the Passion, Crucifixion and Ascension and in the south C Taylor's Light of the World is a frosted engraving by David Gullane. The church also boasts a polygonal timber pulpit with carved motifs.
There are a number of memorial tablets to members of the congregation, including the Duff Dunbar and Horne families. Henry Sinclair Horne was created Baron Horne of Stirkoke for his services as a General in World War I. He is credited with perfecting the "creeping barrage" to help end the stalemate of trench warfare.
Grade B - Presbyterian
A £10,000 National Churches Trust Cornerstone Grant will help fund work to Kilmaronock church and keep it at the heart of the local community. The grant will help to fund phase 1 of repairs to the roof, rainwater goods and masonry. The benefits of the repairs will be felt across the community. The church has plans to display heritage interpretation material, and the building will be used by lots of local groups.
The church also receives a £7,500 Wolfson Fabric Repair Grant from the Wolfson Foundation, on the recommendation of the National Churches Trust.
Kilmaronock church is a historic, Grade B listed building in Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park at the south end of Loch Lomond, Scotland. The church building is 200 years old and is a classical hall-church with domed stone bellcote and slate roof built in 1813. The site has been used for Christian worship since at least 1324 when King Robert the Bruce transferred the patronage from the Earls of Lennox to the Abbey of Cambuskenneth at Stirling.
Grade A - Roman Catholic
A £30,000 National Churches Trust Cornerstone Grant will help fund work to St John the Evangelist 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 consists of external fabric repairs including masonry repairs and pointing, roof works, rainwater goods overhaul and decoration. Where inappropriate concrete has been used, lime mortar will be used instead.
The church is a local landmark and is recognised by the wider community. The project will enhance St John's appearance and hopefully draw in more visitors as well as maintaining its strong links with other local denominations.
St John's is a category A listed church in an idiosyncratic Gothic style with towers to front elevation. It was built between 1903-1906 and designed by the architect JT Walford.
The church is constructed with pitched slated roofs, coursed squared sandstone walls with dressed margins, vertical boarded doors and leaded stained-glass windows.
Inside this sizable church comprises entrance vestibule, nave, baptistry, chancel, side chapels, sacristy, toilet facilities, organ loft and tower.
All Saints, Newtown
Grade II - Church of Wales
A £10,000 National Churches Trust Cornerstone Grant will help fund work to All Saints and keep the church at the heart of the local community.
The meeting space will be reconfigured to accommodate the community's needs including a new level floor. In addition, a new extension will be built for accessible toilets and a kitchen. There is a high demand for these facilities from the community, which will widen All Saints' community engagement.
All Saints' church was built between 1887 and 1890 to accommodate a large population of textile workers who worked in the town.
It was built in Early English style with stepped lancets and is constructed of snecked Llanymynech limestone masonry with Grimshall freestone dressings.
All Saints' was unusual for its era, having chairs instead of pews; a factor that created a unique ambiance within the building which continues to this day.
Donaghadee Methodist Church
The historic church it is believed to incorporate some of the fabric of the original church from 1849. The church you see today was substantially remodelled to a design by J. St John Philips in 1908-9 and is instantly recognised by its distinctive cupola with copper cladded dome.
The church hosts a number of historical events throughout the year showcasing Donaghadee’s heritage. The church is listed category B2 and receives a grant of £7,500 for repairs to its roof to help keep the church in good repair.
Creggan Parish Church, Church of Ireland, County Armagh
The Gothic Revival style church is believed to date from between 1731 and 1758 with the tower being added in 1799. The building is listed category B+ and sits within an ancient graveyard, thought to be the traditional burial place of the descendants of the O'Neill dynasty. Inside the church there are beautiful windows designed by Belfast stained glass studio Douglas, Sons & Co dating from 1915.
The grant of £6,500 is augmented by a further £2,000 from the Wolfson Fabric Repair Grant from the Wolfson Foundation on the recommendation of the National Churches Trust. The money will help deliver a project to replace roof slates, repoint stonework and repairs the church’s plaster work.
Acton Parish Church, Poyntzpass, County Armagh
Acton Parish Church, situated at the entrance to Poyntzpass village, was built in 1789 with later additions by renowned architects Welland & Gillespie. This church was a replacement for the earlier church built in 1684 by Sir Toby Poyntz
The church’s tower features an interesting Georgian Memento Mori sundial by Thomas McCreash, Poyntzpass dating from 1819.
The award of a grant of £4,000 will support a project to repoint and repair sections of the south side of the church.
St Joseph, Scribbagh, County Fermanagh
St. Joseph's foundation stone was laid in 1873 and is coming up to its 150-year anniversary. It has continued to serve its congregation through the years. The beautiful building is located in the very west of County Fermanagh not far from the village of Garrison.
The £4,000 awarded to it will be used for masonry repairs and repointing to help keep this historic building in good repair.
The church has suffered water damage. The £4,000 awarded to it will be used for masonry repairs and repointing.
St Bestius, Killeter, Castlederg, County Tyrone
The church was built in 1822 to replace an earlier building and was extended in 1870 to cater for a growing congregation. A former Rector (1850-1855), Revd William Alexander, later became Bishop of Derry and eventually Archbishop of Armagh.
His wife was the famous hymn-writer Mrs Cecil Frances Alexander who wrote "There is a green hill far away", "Once in royal David’s city" and "All things bright and beautiful" among many others.
St Bestius is a Grade B2 listed building and receives an award £5,500 to support a project to repoint damaged areas of the building as part of church’s Bright and Beautiful repair project.
Our Grants in 2021
In 2021, National Churches Trust grants are available to fund projects at churches, chapels and meeting houses. Applications can be made by Christian places of worship in the UK that are open for regular worship. From repairing a roof to helping to install an accessible toilet - and many other projects - the National Churches Trust's grants help keep churches open for worship and community activities and allow them to continue to serve local people and communities. Funding for our grants comes from our Friends and supporters, a wide range of charitable trusts and is supported by The Pilgrim Trust and The Wolfson Foundation. Find out more on our Grants pages.