Grant for Brize Norton’s ‘Afghanistan remembrance’ church

Published: Monday, October 15, 2012

 

Eight historic English churches are to receive WREN Heritage grants for urgent repairs totalling £322,000 on the recommendation of the National Churches Trust.

Churches receiving the repair grants include Oxfordshire’s St Britius  in the village of Brize Norton which is used for private prayer and reflection in connection with the repatriation of fallen servicemen from Afghanistan, who are flown into RAF Brize Norton nearby. The church is set to benefit from a £40,000 grant towards urgent repairs to its porch.

The grants, awarded by not-for-profit company WREN, are part of a Heritage Fund launched in 2010, which helps to protect Grade one and two star listed buildings and structures of historical importance across the UK.

With its expertise as a grant giver and dedication to supporting places of worship, the National Churches Trust is WREN’s key partner in identifying and assessing exceptional projects at Christian places of worship in England.

WREN awards grants to community, conservation and heritage projects within a 10-mile radius of landfill sites, from funds donated by FCC Environment to the Landfill Communities Fund. Since the Heritage Fund launched in 2010, WREN has awarded 34 projects over £1.5m.

Claire Walker, Chief Executive of the National Churches Trust said:

  “I am delighted that WREN has approved   grants of £322,000 to eight churches on the recommendation of the National Churches Trust. “

“The churches being supported by these grants are much loved both by local people, and by visitors who enjoy the beauty and history of these sacred spaces.”

Churches receiving WREN Heritage grants are:

•    Buckinghamshire’s Church of the Holy Cross in Slapton is set to benefit from a £32,000 grant towards the final phase of a lengthy period of restoration  which will include stone work repairs to the North and South aisle walls as well as the North porch. Stained glass restoration work will also take place with the aid of WREN funds.

•    Cheshire's St Mary’s Church in Disley,  is set to benefit from a £20,000 grant towards urgent repair work to rectify damage caused by water and for urgent roof repairs needed to the north and south facing aisles. St Mary’s Church Disley presently appears on the 2012 Heritage at Risk Register because water ingress has caused extensive loss of fabric to the aisles.

•    Cumbria’s St Bees Priory is set to benefit from a £20,000 grant towards urgent roof repairs. WREN’s grant will fund restoration to one of the finest medieval churches in Cumbria which is still in everyday use for worship and community activities. Due to the building being very exposed, roof slating is regularly lost whenever there is high wind, potentially endangering the community as well as the church. The fastenings are mostly deteriorated with regular leaks and urgent work to repair and re-slate both transept roofs can be started, thanks to the funding from WREN, local people and others including English Heritage.

•    Lincolnshire’s St Michael and All Angels church in Uffington is set to benefit from a £35,000 grant towards urgent repairs needed to the weak and decayed roof timbers.  The work is now extremely urgent and the building, which dates back to the 12th century in parts, has now been put onto the English Heritage’s At Risk Register.

•    Lincolnshire’s St Vincent church in Caythorpe is set to benefit from a £50,000 grant towards the re-roofing of the nave and structural repairs to its spire. The church has been added to the 2012 At Risk Register.  The church has a long association with the Ist Airborne Divisional Signals, which was billeted in the village before the battle of Arnhem in 1944. There is a stained glass window dedicated to the Regiment, which is now the 216 Parachute Regiment Signals Squadron.

•    North Lincolnshire’s All Saints Church in Winterton is set to benefit from a £75,000 grant towards a number of major repairs to stop rainwater leakage in several parts of the roof and the replacement of defective rainwater goods. The church is Grade I listed with many unique features such as medieval decorative ironwork which is thought to be one of only two examples that exists in North Lincolnshire.

•    Oxfordshire’s St Britius in the village of Brize Norton is set to benefit from a £40,000 grant towards urgent repairs.  St Britius is a well used church with services taking place regularly including weddings and funerals and is also open for private prayer and reflection in connection with the repatriation of fallen servicemen from Afghanistan who are flown into RAF Brize Norton nearby.

WREN’s grant will fund urgent work at St Britius Church. The church tower contains a ring of six bells that need re-hanging and for safety’s sake are only rung on rare occasions. The stone slate roof areas of the church are assessed as being in very poor condition with the aim of the project to carry out repairs on large parts of the stone slate roof to prevent further water ingress. Thanks to funding from WREN work on the porch area of the church can be carried out.

•    Oxfordshire’s St Michael and All Angels in Leafield is set to benefit from a  £50,000 grant towards urgent repairs to roofs and rainwater goods. The project will reform the valley gutters of the north and south aisles, south chapel, organ chamber and vestry roofs using stone slate and the general overhaul/repair and decoration of the rainwater goods. St Michael's is considered Sir George Gilbert Scott's finest building in Oxfordshire, outside of Oxford. Consecrated in 1860, its distinctive spire dominates the skyline for miles around.

Claire Walker, Chief Executive of the National Churches Trust said: “I am delighted that WREN has approved   grants of £322,000 to eight churches on the recommendation of the National Churches Trust.

“The churches being supported by these grants are much loved both by local people, and by visitors who enjoy the beauty and history of these sacred spaces. As well as being used for worship, churches are also vital to the well-being of the wider community. With local facilities such as libraries and social clubs closing, places of worship are often the only community spaces available for use by charities. “

“The National Churches Trust drives the restoration and revitalisation of churches and is WREN’s key partner in identifying and assessing exceptional projects at Christian places of worship in England. Since June 2007, the National Churches Trust has provided grants of over £8 million to almost 900 places of worship in the UK. However, we are only able to support a small proportion of the many worthy projects that apply to us for funding. That’s why it is so important that WREN continues to support the repair of places of worship.”

Peter Cox, managing director of WREN, said: “Here at WREN we make a significant difference to people’s lives by awarding grants to community, environmental and heritage projects across the UK. We believe that it’s very important to maintain and protect historical sites. The churches receiving grants  are part of the country’s rich history and we must ensure they remain intact for future generations.  We’re delighted to support the restoration and look forward to the completion of these projects.”

For more information about the Heritage Fund, or to find out if your project could be eligible to receive a grant in 2013, please contact Special Projects Manager Peter Moralee on 01379 687 226.