Early Christmas present for 93 churches

Published: Monday, November 20, 2017

 

At its November meeting, the National Churches Trust's Grants Committee awarded grants to the value of £680,000 to help projects at 93 churches and chapels.

 Churches receiving grants from the National Churches Trust include:

  • St Botolph, Boston Stump, in Boston, Lincolnshire (pictured above), Grade I listed and towering over the fens as a landmark to sailors and pilots, which receives a £40,000 National Churches Trust Repair Grant to help fund urgent repairs to the tower roof and clock and to refurbish the kitchen. 
  • St James' church in Burton Lazars, Leicestershire, Grade I listed and containing the grave of the Zborowski family, whose racing cars were the inspiration for Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, which receives a £10,000 National Churches Trust Community Grant to install much-needed toilet, kitchen and meeting room.
  • St Mary de Castro, Leicester, Grade I listed and where King Richard III worshipped, which receives a £30,000 National Churches Trust Repair Grant to help fund urgent repairs to the roof and drains, to replace the floor and to install underfloor heating.
  • Fairhaven United Reformed Church in Lytham St Anne's, Lancashire known as 'the White Church', a magnificent Grade II* listed English Byzantine domed building which receives a £12,000 National Churches Trust Repair Grant to help fund urgent repairs to dry rot damage.

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

“At the heart of communities in cities, towns and villages, churches are a treasure trove of architecture, history and faith.”

"I'm delighted that the future of 93 UK churches and chapels is being safeguarded thanks to grants of £680,000 from the National Churches Trust."

Grant programmes

18 churches receive National Churches Trust Repair Grants to help fund urgent structural repair projects. 12 receive National Churches Trust Community Grants to help fund projects introducing facilities to enable increased community use. Full details of all the churches receiving Repair and Community Grants are below. You can see photos of the churches receiving Repair and Community Grants on Flickr.

8 churches receive National Churches Trust Project Development Grants, supporting churches to become more sustainable through the diagnosis of issues and the development applications to large church heritage funders such as the Heritage Lottery Fund. See the full list of churches receiving Project Development Grants.

15 churches receive National Churches Trust Maintenance Grants, run in partnership with the Pilgrim Trust, to act on small, urgent maintenance issues and repairs. See the full list of churches receiving Maintenance Grants.

In addition, 36 churches receive National Churches Trust Partnership Grants for urgent repair projects, awarded on the recommendation of local church trusts in England, Wales and Scotland. See the full list of churches receiving Partnership Grants.

Cinnamon Network

4 churches and chapels also receive a National Churches Trust micro-grant to set up a Cinnamon Network Recognised Project. The Cinnamon Network is a charity that works with churches to help those most at need in their communities.

 

The full list of Repair and Community Grants awarded is below:

ENGLAND

BIRMINGHAM

BIRMINGHAM

St Germain, Edgbaston, Birmingham

Diocese of Birmingham – Church of England – Grade II

Web address: http://stgermains.org.uk/wordpress/

St Germain’s church in Edgbaston has received a £10,000 National Churches Trust Community Grant to help fund a servery at the back of the church, the first phase of a project making it easier for the church to host community events.  When completed, the project will provide a new kitchen, toilets and improved access. 

The project

The National Churches Trust’s £10,000 Community Grant will help to fund a project to install a fully accessible servery and kitchen in the church, including storage space, installing drains, and a water supply.

The catering facilities are vital for St Germain’s role at the centre of the community. The church is used weekly as a ‘Place of Welcome’ for people of all faiths and none; other uses include art exhibitions, theatre, and concerts. The church has a dedicated Social Team who organise outreach events for the local community.

The church

The current church building replaced an iron church from the 1890s. It was built, unusually, during the First World War, and consecrated in 1917. It was designed by Birmingham architect Edwin Francis Reynolds, and is considered to be the church which made his reputation.

It is a good example of the Early Christian/Byzantine style, largely unaltered. Materials include Hollington stone, Westmorland slate, Shap granite, and Swedish green marble. The wooden roof beams are painted with Arts and Crafts motifs. Many donations were given in memory of those fallen in the First World War, funding various fixtures and fittings.

A representative from St Germain’s church said:

“As a church we are very encouraged to receive this grant, enabling us to extend our welcome and facilitate greater hospitality to the local community, in particular at our weekly 'Place of Welcome'.”

 

BRISTOL

AVONMOUTH

St Andrew, Avonmouth, Bristol

Diocese of Bristol – Church of England – Unlisted

Web address: www.standrews-stpeters.org

St Andrew’s church in Avonmouth has received a £10,000 National Churches Trust Community Grant to fund the installation of new facilities and creation of community space.

The project

The National Churches Trust’s £10,000 Community Grant is helping to fund a major re-ordering project inside the church. This will replace the church hall, which is currently in a very poor state of repair.

By dividing some of the space inside the church, it will be able to accommodate a community hall; meeting room; crèche; welcome area with café seating; new toilets; a new kitchen; flexible seating; and a new glass entrance facing the road. St Andrew’s Foodbank will have more space in the new plans.

The new rooms will provide space for holiday clubs; worship space for children and young people; coffee mornings; the children’s play scheme; wedding receptions; and school visits. 

The church

There has been a church on this site since 1893, although the building was not completed until 1935. St Andrew’s was seriously damaged during World War Two bombing, and reduced in size when rebuilt in 1957, reusing much of the rough pennant stone. Some of the items in the church, including the font and pulpit, came from the bomb damaged church of St Raphael’s in Bedminster. A church hall was added in the 1960s, but is now in a very poor state of repair.

Andy Murray, vicar of St Andrew’s, said:

‘‘We are delighted that the National Churches Trust are helping the church family to redevelop the building. More space for the food bank will also help many people in the wider area of North West Bristol. We look forward to inviting local people to see the changes and take part in events and activities. ’’

 

BRISTOL

St Philip and St Jacob, Bristol BS2 OET

Diocese of Bristol – Church of England - Grade II*

Website: www.pipnjay.org

The church is on Historic England’s Heritage At Risk Register

St Philip and St Jacob, Bristol has received a £20,000 National Churches Trust Repair Grant to help fund urgent repairs to fix its badly leaking roof. 

The project

The repair works required to the roof stem from a number of past lead thefts. These have been patched with a temporary rubber membrane that is now failing. Water penetrating through the roof has resulted in widespread water damage throughout the building.

After the repairs have been completed, the building will go from one that is in a considerable state of disrepair and on the edge of closure due to safety concerns, to one that is watertight and safe which can be used, visited and enjoyed by the community for the years to come. As a result of this project, the building is likely to be removed from the Historic England At Risk Register.

The city centre area around the church is developing rapidly. The need for community space is already very high and is going to increase significantly in the next five years. St Philip and St Jacob church is currently inundated with requests for space to hold various community and charity activities which it has to decline due to the state of the building.

The church

St Philip and St Jacob church, Bristol is a Grade II* listed building which dates from the early 13th century. The chancel, nave and lower tower are the oldest sections. It also has a 15th century north chancel aisle and upper tower.

The current building stands on the site of the oldest church in the Bristol area, a small Benedictine priory dating from at least AD 900. It was probably built by Robert, Earl of Gloucester, who also rebuilt Bristol Castle in 1126. The wagon roof over the nave and the carved wooden bosses in the ceiling are made from oak given by Richard II and date from around 1390.

During the year, the building is used for a variety of community activities. Parts of the building are also used weekly by a local arts group, a youth drama group, a baby and toddler group, a community core group and for the preparation of food and drink to give out each Friday evening on the streets of Bristol by the church Soup Run team.

 

CHESHIRE

BLACON, CHESTER

Holy Trinity without-the-walls, Blacon, Chester

Diocese of Chester – Church of England - Unlisted

Web address: www.holytrinityblacon.org

Holy Trinity without-the-walls has received a £10,000 National Churches Trust Community Grant to install a kitchen and accessible toilets, and make the church a more flexible place for the community.

The church also receives a £2,000 National Churches Trust Micro-Grant in partnership with the Cinnamon Network to help set up a Cinnamon Network recognised social action project to aid local people.

The project

The National Churches Trust’s grant will allow Holy Trinity without-the-walls to install a kitchenette, accessible toilet, and improve disabled access.

When not in use, the kitchenette will be hidden with a sympathetic wooden screen. With permanent facilities, the community café will be able to be run more efficiently without needing to be set up and put away after every use.

An external ramp and alterations to the toilet will make the church accessible to the whole community. The project will also alter and increase space available at the front of the church so it can be used more flexibly.

With this completed, the church will be able to provide a safe and welcoming space for all in the community.

The church

In the Blacon area of Chester, Holy Trinity without-the-walls was built at the same time as the surrounding housing estate and consecrated in 1960. Items from the Old Holy Trinity church on Watergate Street, Chester were kept by the new church, including a wrought iron sword holder; two wooden boards listing mayors of Chester; and the oak high altar dating from 1925.

Holy Trinity runs a thriving Community Outreach Project, running a community café, craft course, gardening club, toddler group, and school holiday lunches and activities. The work funded by the National Churches Trust’s Community Grant will enable the project to take place more frequently throughout the week and run a larger range of courses.

Lynn Wakefield, church member and Outreach Project volunteer, said: 

“We are thrilled with the generosity of this grant from the National Churches Trust as it will enable our already thriving Outreach Project to expand even further, reaching out to the community on all levels. Once the alterations to the building are finished our church can become a real hub of the community, a welcoming and safe place for all.”

 

CORNWALL

LISKEARD

St Martin, Liskeard, Cornwall

Diocese of Truro – Church of England – Grade II*

Web address: https://liskeard.2day.uk/

St Martin’s church in Liskeard has received a £15,000 National Churches Trust Community Grant to build a new toilet and install a kitchen and crèche.

The project

The National Churches Trust’s £15,000 Community Grant helps fund: the installation of a second toilet; creation of a kitchen area in the south west corner of the nave; and the creation of a new crèche area. Some of the pews will be removed, improving the flexibility of the church for community events.  

The church currently has just one toilet, which doesn’t meet the needs of the congregation. There is also a regular café-style church which has to be held in the church centre. The new kitchen and extra toilets means this can be brought back into the main building.

The lack of heating meant that the church had to be closed over last winter, with services moving into the church centre. The church will no longer stand empty throughout the week. There can now be many more community activities such as concerts, exhibitions, meetings, and groups.

The church

St Martin’s is the second largest parish church in Cornwall. In 1428 the Prior of St Stephen’s in Launceston granted the mayor and parishioners of Liskeard the right to build a chapel adjoining the existing church. This created the south aisle and Lady Chapel of today. In 1430 another deed allowed the chapel to be rebuilt. A third deed in 1477 empowered the mayor and parishioners to construct arches and create the north aisle.

The building of the current tower started in 1901, replacing an earlier one. The west door, originally built in 1627, was preserved in the reconstruction. These dates can still be seen on the exterior of the west end of the church.

An unusual feature is the war memorial frieze, which depicts civilian war roles as well as the military, and more women than men. Also of interest is the font which has an elaborate wooden cover.

Mike Sturgess, the treasurer at St Martin’s Church, and Chairman of the Truro Diocesan Board of Finance, said:

 “This is an exciting project for the church, making it much more flexible for use by the church and community alike. The underfloor heating will make it useable throughout the week, and the additional facilities will open it up to provide a venue for small groups through to events with several hundred people.”

“A project like this would be impossible without the support of organisations like the National Churches Trust, and their grant helped us to meet our fundraising target. On behalf of everyone in our church and community, I would like to offer the National Churches Trust our deepest thanks for their part in helping us on our journey of turning our vision into reality.”

 

DERBYSHIRE

STANLEY

St Andrew, Stanley, Derbyshire

Diocese of Derby – Church of England – Grade II

Web address: www.derbyshirechurches.org/church/stanley-st-andrew

St Andrew’s church in Stanley has received a £5,000 National Churches Trust Community Grant to install a much needed kitchen and accessible toilet.

The project

The church will install a kitchenette, accessible toilet, and baby change area in the vestry. There are currently no such facilities, which is inhibiting people from attending services, using community space, or holding events.

The facilities will be open to the whole community; people of all faiths and none will be drawn together and social connections strengthened. The church hopes to welcome walkers and host a playgroup and concerts.

The church                

St Andrew’s church is Grade II listed, built around 1200. It was restored in 1876. The bell turret contains two bells, recast in the 1920s. The church is a simple building, essentially one room divided by a plain Victorian screen at the choir. The nave seats about one hundred people in Victorian wooden pews. The octagonal stone font is medieval. Of particular note is the William III coat of arms hanging on the west wall, a rare example of its type.

St Andrew’s is already used regularly by the local primary school, and festivals such as Christmas and Easter draw in up to 100 people.

A representative of St Andrew’s church said:

“St Andrew’s church and the community have been working together for some years to raise funds for the installation of toilet facilities and kitchen. Without these, the church is very limited in the range of activities we are able to organise. The grant of £5,000 from the National Churches Trust is a huge boost to our funds and means that we can begin work shortly. The impact of the provision of these services will be significant, both for the church and the community and will help us achieve our aim to make St. Andrew’s a focal point for the village once again.”

 

DORSET

DONHEAD ST ANDREW

St Andrew, Donhead St Andrew, Dorset SP7 9EB

Diocese of Salisbury – Church of England - Grade II*

Website: www.sacda.uk

St Andrew, Donhead St Andrew has received a £20,000 National Churches Trust Repair Grant to help fund urgent repairs to fix its badly leaking roof. 

The project

The project will significantly improve the condition of the church by dealing with water penetration from the leaking roof and dealing with the causes of damp in the walls and in the roof insulation. The unsightly damp and stained walls with flaking plaster will also be dealt with. As a result, the church will be watertight, avoiding further deterioration in the future and any additional major expenditure.

The church

Donhead St Andrew is a parish of steep hills, streams, woodland, pasture and high chalk downs with sudden wonderful views. There is no real village centre so the foci for the community are the church and the pub.

The parish church, dedicated to St Andrew, is situated in the valley beside the river Nadder. There has been a church on this site serving as a centre for Christian worship for at least a thousand years. It is believed that the first church may have been built soon after the founding of Shaftesbury Abbey in about 875 AD. The tall narrow arch leading from the chancel to the vestry is Saxon work from about the 9th or 10th century. The present church is 13th century though much altered in the 19th century and is built of the local green sandstone.

Michael Hockney, Chairman of the Friends of St Andrew’s Church, said:

“The Parochial Church Council and congregation of St Andrew’s Church and indeed the whole village community of Donhead St Andrew are so grateful to the National Churches Trust for its generous grant which will help ensure that the problems with the fabric of St Andrew’s Church can be addressed in the very near future and the risk of further serious damage avoided.  Work will begin early in 2018.  We are so excited at the prospect of the church re-opening later in 2018 as an inspirational place of continuing prayer and worship and as the centre of village community activities.”

 

POOLE

Parkstone Christian Centre, Poole, Dorset

United Reformed Church – Unlisted

Web address: www.parkstoneunitedreformedchurch.co.uk/

Parkstone Christian Centre in Poole has received a £13,000 National Churches Trust Community Grant to create a new kitchen, toilets, better access, and to re-order the interior of the church so it can be used by community groups.

The project

The project will install a kitchen in the church tower. A community café will then be set up and the facilities will be available to all users. The café will be affordable, and provide training for those struggling to get into work.

The project will also install a ramp and a new door to make the building accessible, and install a screen so the main space can be used for large events or smaller groups. 

The local probation office meets in the church, and will be much better provided for with a private space. They want to develop an innovative hub with probation officers, debt advice, mental health services and job advice groups offering life-skills.

The church

Parkstone Christian Centre was built in 1893, an attractive red brick building. In 1950 a special stained glass window was installed at the east end. The main worship area contains attractive wooden columns and panelling, and a large organ.

The church is currently used by over thirty groups, including for use as a day nursery, by a charity helping ex-offenders, and as the base for a social supermarket selling affordable groceries.

 

ISLE OF WIGHT

St Peter, Seaview, Isle of Wight

Diocese of Portsmouth – Church of England – Grade II

Web address: www.sthelenswithseaview.org.uk

St Peter’s church in Seaview has received a £10,000 National Churches Trust Community Grant to introduce much-needed kitchen and toilet facilities and meeting space.

The project

Adding toilets, a kitchen, and meeting rooms will enable the church to open up its space in the centre of the community. The church’s current meeting space is upstairs, with poor disabled access, so the new space will be a very welcome addition.

St Peter’s plans a lunch and cinema club with the Parish Council and Age UK. Other users to benefit are a mother and toddler group, the local sailing club, the WI, a craft club, and RNLI.

The village of Seaview has no other community spaces where people can come together, so St Peter’s will be able to unite the whole village.

The church

The land on which St Peter’s sits was bought in 1858 by the local squire to erect a chapel of ease. It was built by a local builder with stone from Swanage, in Dorset. In 1907 the church was consecrated, and became a separate parish.

It was gradually extended, with the addition of choir stalls and a rood screen. In 1921 the Lady Chapel and south aisle were completed as a memorial to the men from Seaview who lost their lives in the First World War. In the late 1960s, a choir vestry, sacristy and flower vestry were added.

Sylvia Beardsmore, Church Warden at St Peter’s church, said:

“For many years the lower ground floor of the church has been used only for storage, and was really too damp even for that. The grant we have received from the National Churches Trust will enable us to transform this space into a useable and living space for the whole community. Thank you.”

 

KENT

HERNE

St Martin in the Herne, Herne, Kent CT6 6NH

Diocese of Canterbury – Church of England – Grade I

Website: www.st-martins-herne.co.uk/StMartins

The church is on Historic England’s Heritage at Risk Register

St Martin in the Herne, Herne, has received a £30,000 National Churches Trust Repair Grant to help fund urgent repairs to its west wall and to install a toilet.

The project

The project is to repair the west wall of the church and to install a toilet with mains drainage. The repair of crumbling masonry will safeguard the historical and architectural significance of the building for the foreseeable future.

Currently the use of the church building by the congregation and by the wider community is curtailed by the danger of falling masonry, damp and unsightly wall finishes, numerous changes of floor level and steps, and poor and inadequate toilet accommodation. The church serves a large and vibrant church community that could attract further visitors and users after the repairs have been completed.

The project will also include a "Bayeux" tapestry display embroidered by members of the local community to record the restoration project, together with photographs and information on the project on the church website, displays in church and activities, including a drawing festival, open day and flower festival.

The church

A Grade I listed church of historical and architectural importance, St Martin in the Herne dates mostly from the first half of the 14th century, when an earlier twelfth-century Chapel of Ease was almost entirely rebuilt. It is considered an outstanding church of the mid-14th century with a very fine North West tower and fully aisled nave and chancel. It has excellent late medieval furnishings, including choir stalls with misericords, 15th century font and a fine screen to north chapel.

The building acts as a depository of the nation's history with memorials to the powerful families of the past. The church and churchyard with the WWI and WWII memorials also holds more recent memories of those who perished in the two great wars of the 20th century.

Revd Carol Smith, Vicar of Herne St Martin’s, says:

“And what a boost! Words alone cannot express how delighted we were to learn of the National Churches Trust award of £30,000 towards Herne St Martin’s external repairs plus the installation of a toilet.  This will certainly improve the welcome and hospitality we provide to the countless numbers of people we strive to serve all year round and will also enable us, with confidence, to invite so many more!  Thank you.”

 

LANCASHIRE

BLACKPOOL

Holy Trinity church, Blackpool FY4 1BP

Diocese of Blackburn – Church of England – Grade II

The church is on Historic England’s Heritage at Risk Register

Web address: www.htss.org.uk

Holy Trinity church, Blackpool has received a £12,913 National Churches Trust Repair Grant to help fund urgent repairs to its tower.

The project

Urgent problems have been discovered with the church’s high level masonry, after a piece of fallen stone was found in the car park in February 2015. Stonework to louvred openings in the tower was found to be badly eroded, mortar bedding material was missing and old mortar repairs were now failing and pieces were breaking down and falling from the church.

With the whole building safe there will be greater opportunities for use of the building. It will be more aesthetically pleasing, attracting local people, tourist and holiday makers. The community will be able to use the building for concerts and events in a unique local setting. People will be proud of this beacon of heritage in an area of Blackpool that has no other such buildings.

The church

Holy Trinity is a large stone built church, listed Grade II, located in Dean Street, back from the Blackpool Promenade, and not far from the Pleasure Beach.

The present church was built 1894-5 by R K Freeman, and is designed in a free style of Decorated Gothic. His work was mainly ecclesiastical, but he also designed other buildings and even made additions to the piers of Blackpool and Southport. Although his work was mainly in the North-West, he also designed buildings abroad. He built the only Anglican church in Moscow. Holy Trinity Church was considered to be his very best.

The church is large, being over 150 feet long and 80 feet wide. The tower is of five stages and around 90 feet high, with angled buttresses, belfry louvres, battlemented parapet and canted stair turret with pyramidal roof of red tiles.

There are many beautiful stained glass windows in the church, and the ones in the South Nave have an interesting story. They depict the four Gospel writers, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, and were originally in Rawcliffe Street Methodist Church. The last service was held there on the 25 July 1971, and in 1972 the church was demolished. Fortunately, these windows were saved from destruction and given to the church by the Methodists.

David Eaves, parishioner at Holy Trinity Church Blackpool, said:

 “We are delighted that the National Churches Trust has awarded us this funding towards our repair work supported by Heritage Lottery Fund and other fundraising by the congregation. It will make a massive difference and helps us maintain the church for the current generation and community who use the facilities. It means the church will still be here for future generations.”

 

DARWEN

St Peter’s church, Darwen BB3 3HE

Diocese of Blackburn– Church of England – Grade II*

Web address: www.stpeterschurchdarwen.org         

St Peter’s church, Darwen has received a £17,087 National Churches Trust Repair Grant to help fund new sheet copper coverings to its roofs.

The project

A recent survey confirmed that the roof coverings of the north and south aisles are failing. Water is saturating the interior every time it rains, insulating materials have been soaked and water has reached electrical conduits causing a risk of electrical shock and fire, severely restricting these upper sections of the church.

The work will include replacing the sheet copper roof coverings, the failing asphalt gutter on the south side, and any associated elements of the building such as the parapet masonry (which is affected by corroding iron reinforcement) and new rainwater goods.

The project will ensure that this special building is water tight and safe. The roofs will be sealed and the threat to woodwork, ceilings above the galleries on the north and south aisles, electrical conduits and lighting, will be alleviated, conserving the church for future generations of townspeople and congregations.

The church

The foundation stone of St Peter’s was laid on July 19 1827, and the consecration ceremony held on 13 September 1829. Then called Holy Trinity, it was one of the “Commissioner’s Churches” financed by Government grants and declared to be in thanksgiving for the victories in the Napoleonic wars.

It is in the heart of the local conservation area and of great significance architecturally and as an integral and relevant part of this Lancashire town which grew in the Industrial Revolution. The Diocese employed Thomas Rickman as St Peter’s architect. Rickman is notable as the author of ‘An Attempt to Discriminate the Styles of English Architecture’, published in 1817, and a classic of architectural writing as it outlines the commonly accepted definitions of English medieval church architecture.

St Peter's was built in a modest style using fine red sandstone in complete contrast to the local sandstone or brick of the rest of the area. There is a three-stage west tower complete with working chiming clock overlooking the town centre. The bells mark the passing of time and ring for Sunday services, weddings and Jubilee celebrations.

The Rev Canon Fleur Green, Vicar of St. Peter's Darwen, said,

“This award from the National Churches Trust is very much appreciated as we strive to preserve the heritage in this most beautiful church in the centre of our town. We have been overwhelmed by support from the local community and have discovered how important the church is both to the parishioners and also those who see the building day by day. We enter a very exciting time as we look to the future and that once the work is completed on the building we will be able to extend the amount of work and outreach we are able to do here, knowing the building is secure for future generations.”

 

HOLLINWOOD, OLDHAM

St Margaret of Antioch, Hollinwood, Oldham, Manchester OL8 4QQ

Diocese of Manchester – Church of England – Grade II

The church is on Historic England’s Heritage at Risk Register

Web address: www.magsnchads.org.uk

St Margaret of Antioch, Hollinwood, Oldham has received a £7,000 National Churches Trust Repair Grant to help fund urgent roof repairs.

The project

The project involves reroofing of the south pitch of the nave roof and the south aisle roof, together with repairs to the structure of the roof which is affected by dry rot and wet rot, renewal of rainwater goods to the affected areas and masonry repairs to the south nave clerestory. The roof will also be insulated alongside the repair work.

The work is part of a multi-phase project for the church, which was in a perilous condition and now has largely been repaired. It is expected that on completion of this phase of work the building will be able to be removed from the Historic England At Risk Register.

The church

The first church on this site was completed in 1769. However, by the mid 19th century, the population of Hollinwood had increased hugely to around 8,000 and the church was too small for those wishing to attend and had also become unsafe. The church wardens were advised that the woodwork was so rotten with dry rot that it would be cheaper to build a new church.

In 1877 the old church was demolished and a temporary iron building erected near the site, used for weddings and other ministrations while the school was used for Sunday services. The foundation stone for the new church was laid on Easter Monday 1878. Costs rising, a planned ‘massive tower’ was abandoned leaving the next generation to complete this work. The building was eventually finished and furnished in August 1882. In 1904 the decision was made to complete the tower, dedicated by the Bishop of Burnley in 1906.

Apart from worship, the church is open for concerts, educational visit, schools use, heritage visits and open days, theatrical productions, art exhibitions, supper nights and other activities.

Parish Priest, Fr David Hawthorn, said:

“It is fantastic that the National Churches Trust have been so generous in helping us and the congregation of St. Margaret’s look forward to our continuing work with the Trust for many years to come.”

 

LYTHAM ST ANNES

Fairhaven United Reformed Church, Lytham St Annes, FY8 1AX

United Reformed Church - Grade II*

Web address: www.fairhavenurc.org.uk

Fairhaven United Reformed Church has received a £12,000 National Churches Trust Repair Grant to help fund urgent repairs to dry rot damage.

The project

In January 2014 a major problem with water ingress was identified which caused significant damage to the fabric of the building. Dry rot occurred on the south elevation where water entered and badly damaged the first floor meeting room. Dry rot spores developed which attacked the timbers in this room and the adjacent room, the Junior Church room and the cellar below. The main entrance porch was also badly damaged by water ingress.

The main entrance has not been in use for over 20 months and Junior Church room and first floor rooms also cannot be used. Funding will pay for repairs to the three areas damaged by dry rot so they can be returned to church and community use and to restore the main entrance.

The first floor rooms will be offered free of charge for use by local charities. The local branch of the Parkinson’s society and the local stroke club are already interested in using them. The children's room will again be used by Junior Church and in addition there is a strategy to develop Church based community children's activities. Reopening the main entrance to the Sanctuary will allow better use of this beautiful building by visitors and worshippers as well as providing a spectacular entrance for weddings.

The church

Although officially Fairhaven United Reformed Church, this church is known locally as The White Church. This amazing grade II* building designed by Briggs, Wolstenholme and Thornley opened in 1912 and was built in an early Christian Byzantine style with a square design, a domed roof hung by wires from a metal frame and an octagonal 90 foot tower over the main entrance. There are two other towers with domes rising 50 feet. The building is faced in striking white faience. The sanctuary is in the shape of a Greek cross and can seat 500. There are beautiful stained glass windows by Luke Walmsley.

A representative of Fairhaven URC said:

“Fairhaven United Reformed Church is extremely grateful to National Churches Trust Repair Grant for the £12,000 grant towards the problem of the Dry Rot. It will allow us to make major reparation to our Grade II* iconic Church and preclude the need for much temporary (sticking plaster) work.”

“The White Church at Fairhaven is a focal point for the local community and beyond. The upstairs meeting room will be an important social centre and a haven of peace for those in need. To reopen the main entrance to the Sanctuary will allow better use of this beautiful building by visitors and worshippers as well as providing a spectacular entrance for weddings. It will be wonderful to reclaim the Children’s room so that we can rebuild and strengthen the Junior Church which is where our future lies and the generous grant provided means that they will have an iconic and historic church in which to practise their faith.”

 

SALFORD QUAYS

St Clements, Ordsall and Salford Quays, Greater Manchester M5 3LQ

Diocese of Manchester – Anglican - Grade II

The church is on Historic England’s Heritage at Risk Register

Web address: www.stclementsordsall.com

St Clement’s church, Ordsall and Salford Quays has received a £7,000 National Churches Trust Repair Grant to help fund urgent repairs to terracotta window sections and to the Lady Chapel.

The project

The project will replaceterracotta tracery around the south aisle and vestry windows, matching precisely the existing sections as they are beyond repair. Glazing will be remade with new saddle bars and leaded lights. This will make windows structurally safe and weathertight and will help to conserve the fabric of the building. It will also greatly enhance the interior by allowing increased levels of light. The building will be once again fully functioning and restored for future generations. The church will be removed from the Historic England Heritage at Risk Register.

Repairs and refurbishment will take place in the Lady Chapel to make the room usable to enable the church to develop and continue to meet the community needs.

Four phases of work with help from other funding and grant making bodies over the past nine years have already taken place, and this is the final phase in order to make the building sustainable for future generations.

The church

St Clement's is an impressive Listed Grade II church built in 1877/8 by Austin & Paley. It is built in red brick with some fine brick and terracotta detailing to door and window surrounds, eaves, cornices, buttresses and entrance. Situated in the heart of Ordsall, it forms an architectural focal point, towering high above low rise modern residential development.

 

LEICESTERSHIRE

BURTON LAZARS

St James, Burton Lazars, Leicestershire

Diocese of Leicester – Church of England – Grade I

Web address: https://www.melton.leicester.anglican.org/

St James’ church in Burton Lazars has received a £10,000 National Churches Trust Community Grant to install much-needed toilet, kitchen and meeting room.

The church also receives a £2,000 National Churches Trust Micro-Grant in partnership with the Cinnamon Network to help set up a Cinnamon Network recognised social action project to help local people.

The project

The project aims to make St James’ relevant and fit for purpose in the 21st century, enabling it to meet the religious and social needs of its congregation and wider community. The church will install toilet facilities for the first time; create a kitchen area from which to serve food and drink; build a meeting room; install a new heating system; and rewire the electricity and lighting systems.

St James provides a social focal point for the village and the wider community in partnership with the village hall. However, activities have been severely limited by the lack of a toilet, running water, and effective heating and lighting. The facilities will provide a safe, comfortable and low cost venue for the wider community, for concerts, welfare initiatives, coffee mornings, a crèche, and a carers group.

The church

St James’ church is in the centre of Burton Lazars, where it has stood for over 900 years. Grade I listed, it has many significant architectural features including a 600 year old font, a roof dating to the late medieval period with beautifully carved wooden bosses in the form of minstrels, and stunning stained glass windows reflecting its connection to the Order of St Lazarus. The Order ran a leper hospital from the twelfth century to the Reformation.

The churchyard contains the graves of the Zborowski family, who built and raced cars – one was the inspiration for ‘Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’.

Jane King, Pioneer Minister at St James’ church, said:

“This generous grant from the National Churches Trust is an important step in our journey to ensure that our lovely 11th century building not only remains a desirable venue for services, festivals and special family events, but the installation of the new facilities will enable us to serve the community in fresh and exciting ways helped by the £2000 Cinnamon Network Micro-Grant.”

 

LEICESTER 

St Mary de Castro, Leicester, LE1 5WN

Diocese of Leicester – Anglican – Grade I

The church is on Historic England’s Heritage at Risk Register

Web address: www.stmarydecastro.co.uk

St Mary de Castro, Leicester has received a £30,000 National Churches Trust Repair Grant to help fund urgent repairs to the roof and drains, to replace the floor and to install underfloor heating.

The project

As part of a wider scheme of major repairs to the church, the National Churches Trust’s grant will help fund repairs to part of the floor at the west end of the nave that was damaged when the unsafe spire at St Mary's was dismantled in 2014.  As part of this repair underfloor heating will be installed as this will enable the removal of several radiators and pipework that are against the west wall. The heat from these is damaging the adjacent stonework.

The repair work will enable the church to install toilets and a servery. This will enable hold more public events such as concerts and lectures in the church.

St Mary de Castro has been approached by the local university to host more of their concerts and also as a venue for formal events. Several local music groups would like to use the building for regular concerts and local community groups for other activities. 

The church

A Grade I listed building, it has been described as "the jewel of Leicester's churches" and contains much fine work. Founded in 1107, St Mary de Castro stands within the precincts of the Royal Castle of Leicester, from which it gets its name and of which it was once the chapel. Sovereigns of England who came to Leicester stayed at the castle and worshipped in this church. Parliament heard Mass here before its Leicester meetings. King Henry VI was knighted in St Mary's in 1426 and it is also thought that Geoffrey Chaucer was married here.

Perhaps the last reigning monarch to worship in St Mary's was King Richard III, and here his body may have rested briefly after the Battle of Bosworth. In addition to regular worship, the church is also used for private prayer and thoughts. Recent events have included an Indian Classical Music Concert, Choral Evensong by the De Monfort University Chamber Choir, and an evening to launch the Leicester Silent Film Festival.

In 2012 St Mary de Castro received a £40,000 grant from the National Churches Trust in connection with works on its spire.

Chris Phillips, Church Warden at St Mary de Castro, said: 

"The grant from the National Churches Trust will enable the first phase of a long restoration and facilities project to go ahead. This will not only restore the building to a good state and take in off the At Risk Register but enable us to make the church more available for community and group use."

 

LINCOLNSHIRE

BOSTON

St Botolph (Boston Stump), Boston, Lincolnshire PE21 6NP

Diocese of Lincoln – Church of England - Grade I

The church is on Historic England’s Heritage at Risk Register

Web address: www.parish-of-boston.org.uk

St Botolph’s (Boston Stump) has received a £40,000 National Churches Trust Repair Grant to help fund urgent repairs to the tower roof and clock and to refurbish the kitchen.

The project

The repair project is focused on restoration of the church's tower. This will include replacement of the lead belfry roof and the wooden platform at the top of the lantern tower which are both in extremely poor condition. It will also involve restoration work to the west face of the tower which is the last remaining face where significant restoration has yet to take place in recent years.

The work will allow the building to be removed from Historic England’s Heritage at Risk register. It may allow the church to reopen areas of the tower. More broadly the repair work will safeguard and protect the historic fabric for generations to come, to allow visitors to enjoy the fabulous views from the tower and for the church to continue to act as a beacon, as it has for centuries over the flat fenland countryside of south Lincolnshire.

While not all parts of the church will be accessible when repairs are ongoing, the church hopes to teach people about restoration, looking at how the tower was originally constructed and at skills such as stonemasonry, including hard hat tours during the restoration work. When complete, the project will draw in significant numbers of new visitors thanks to the redevelopment work in the church, the new facilities and interpretation.

The works are planned to be complete to coincide with the international celebrations commemorating the 400th anniversary of the voyage of the Mayflower which should draw significant attention.

The church

Grade I listed, St Botolph's Church in Boston, Lincolnshire, better known as 'Boston Stump', is the largest and one of the most significant historic churches in the country. It is spectacular from the outside and is described by Pevsner as a 'giant among English Parish churches'. Boston Stump has always been a landmark to both seafarers and people travelling across the flat fenland that surrounds the town. Over its 700 years the church has played its part in both national and international history. It will be forever linked with the Puritan emigrants who in 1630 followed in the wake of the Pilgrim Fathers and founded a new Boston in the United States of America.

 As the church has the largest performance space in the area (it can seat 1,200 people), it has been expanding its concert and events programme and installed a new shop and better facilities to enable these activities to grow and to better welcome visitors. The building has been used for English Language classes for the local Eastern European community and as a meeting space for community groups.

Rev Alyson Buxton, Team Rector, said:

‘’We are absolutely delighted to receive this significant grant which will help safeguard the tower of one of the most iconic buildings in the country for generations to come. Our thanks and gratitude go to the National Churches Trust for their generosity.’’

 

LONDON

BARNET

All Saints, Friern Barnet, London NM20 9EZ

Diocese of London – Church of England – Grade II

The church is on Historic England’s Heritage at Risk Register

Web address: www.allsaints.uk.com

All Saints church, Friern Barnet has received a £10,000 National Churches Trust Repair Grant to help fund urgent repairs to the spire, tower and stonework.

The project

The spire, tower, and west elevation stonework of All Saints church are all in need of urgent repair, due to worn mortar and poor rendering applied in the 1970s. If the work is not carried out there is a risk of permanent closure, and this has caused considerable alarm locally, because there is a lack of shared cultural and community spaces.

Water is leaking into the tower, and could cause damage to all three storeys of the tower. The grounds around the tower and spire are frequently covered in render which has fallen to the ground, making the area difficult for people with mobility issues to get into and out of the church. The project will provide a long term solution to an issue that has now been ongoing for a number of years and should ensure that the church is removed from the Heritage at Risk register.  

The church

All Saints is a rare and largely unchanged example of late 19th century neo-gothic church architecture. The church was built between 1881 and 1882, on land and with funds provided by a local resident. It was designed by the Gothic Revival architect Joseph Clarke.

It contains stunning frescoes by the famous Victorian church architect Sidney-Gambier Perry, and stained glass from 1909 by Ward and Hughes, the most celebrated glassmakers of their time.

The central aim of the project is not simply to repair the spire but to increase the community’s engagement with a distinctive and important piece of Victorian heritage, by raising awareness, and offering opportunities to explore the history and fabric of the building. While doing the work, All Saints plans to hold a festival, which will include commissioning a local playwright to write a play about the heritage and history of All Saints and its community.

Revd Gregory Platten, Vicar of All Saints’ church, said:

“As a church and community the very generous grant from the National Churches Trust is invaluable. Not only does it support a piece of fine heritage at risk, but heritage at the centre of the local community, both a landmark and a community hub. This generous will help us to secure All Saints’ long-term future as a church building and community. We are immensely grateful.”

 

ISLINGTON

St Andrew, Stoke Newington, London N16 5DU

Diocese of London – Church of England – Grade II*

The church is on Historic England’s Heritage at Risk Register

St Andrew’s church, Stoke Newington has received a £15,000 National Churches Trust Repair Grant to help fund urgent repairs to roofs, stonework and to the Great East Window and stained glass.

The project

The project will renew the roofs on the north nave and aisle and repair or replace associated rainwater goods. Stone repairs will also be made.

The Great East Window, one of the last major pieces to be made by the great Scottish artist William Wilson before he went blind, is bowed at the bottom and the lower panels will be removed and repaired. Other minor repairs to this window and to the stained glass on the north side will also be undertaken. The glass will also be professionally cleaned. Water stained ceilings will be cleaned, repaired and painted.

This is the second of three phases of repairs aimed at making the church water tight and protecting the important decorative scheme. The church has already benefitted from two previous grants from the National Churches Trust and the latest grant will help remove the church from the Historic England Heritage at Risk Register.

The church

St Andrew’s is one of London’s best kept secrets - an amazing piece of high Victorian architecture in Stoke Newington. The murals and stained glass make it one of the most remarkable churches in London.  Few are so extensively decorated and even fewer benefit from the coherence of a unified design concept. 

After many years of decline, the congregation is now expanding and reaching out to the local community.  Efforts are being made to encourage people to use the church for activities such as concerts and the fact that it is now open on Friday evenings is beginning to make people understand that the building is a community resource.  At the same time, greater community use will allow the congregation to show off the church’s art and architecture to new audiences.

The Rev Charis Enga, Priest in Charge at St Andrew’s, said:

“It’s thanks to funders like the National Churches Trust that we are able preserve these wonderful paintings and stained glass.  Support from the National Churches Trust is also vital to our efforts to grow the congregation and make it more child friendly.”

 

STREATHAM

St Leonard’s church, Streatham, London SW16 1HS

Diocese of Southwark – Church of England – Grade II

The church is on Historic England’s Heritage at Risk Register

St Leonard’s church, Streatham has received a £15,000 National Churches Trust Repair Grant to help fund urgent repairs to its south roof and to install and accessible toilet.

The project

The project will repair the leaking south slope of the roof of St Leonard’s church and put in a disabled loo and ramp. The roof is leaking very considerably and increasingly into the nave, chancel and choir vestry. There is only one lavatory which is not wheelchair accessible and is very run down and hard to keep clean which is limiting use by the community, particularly mother and baby groups and Streatham Seniors. Another benefit of the National Churches Trust’s grant is that it will unlock Heritage Lottery Fund funding of £221,600.

The church has already benefitted from two previous grants from the National Churches Trust and the latest grant will help remove the church from the Historic England Heritage at Risk Register.

The church

St Leonard's church is Grade II Listed and stands in the heart of Streatham, on a site of Christian worship for over 1,000 years. It is a pleasing blend of ancient and modern. Both Samuel Johnson and Jane Austen are known to have worshipped in the church.

One of St Leonard’s finest features is the famous Streatham Window, which was designed by John Hayward and narrates the history of the church. It features a Roman settlement, the Norman Conquest, and Sir John Ward, a friend of the Black Prince who built a new church for the parish around 1350.

The church was sensitively restored in 1975, following a disastrous fire which saw flames sweep through the Nave and up the tower, destroying all the interior woodwork, roof, bells. The bottom right hand corner of the Streatham Window shows St Leonard’s engulfed in flames on the evening of 5 May 1975.

St Leonard’s provides a space and a focus for a range of community activities. It is a place to find calm away from the intense activity of Streatham High Road. It provides a weekly assembly space for a local school and a place where parents meet and have a coffee and chat.  The church has developed Streatham Seniors to address loneliness in the community with home visits and events in the building. It hosts frequent concerts, and is the base for the Streatham Choral Society.

Revd. Canon Anna Norman-Walker, Rector of St Leonard’s Streatham, said:

"St Leonard's is very grateful to National Churches Trust for its generous donation of £15,000.  This significant contribution towards the restoration project supports St Leonard's Church's ambition to create a welcoming and more accessible space for the wider community whilst continuing to provide warmth, comfort and ministry. With National Churches Trust's help, St Leonard's can look forward to a new era of serving the local community in one of the most deprived parts of London."  

 

NORFOLK

CASTON

Holy Cross, Caston, Norfolk

Diocese of Norwich – Church of England – Grade I

Web address: http://www.wgp.church/holycrosscaston.asp

Holy Cross church in Caston has received a £15,000 National Churches Trust Community Grant to install a kitchen and engage their local community.

The project

The project will install a kitchen to allow refreshments to be served. This is part of a project to engage the local community. Currently the church has no running water, so the new kitchen will enable the community to hold additional events and provide refreshments after services.

Children at local schools will be able to learn about their heritage through thatching lessons, a special guide to the church, and a permanent heritage display. They will also be involved in developing a ‘prayer and meditation centre’ for the whole community. 

At the same time, a larger repair project will rethatch the historic church. When the work has been completed, Holy Cross church will be structurally safe and watertight for future generations.

The church

The much-loved parish church is set in a conservation area on the edge of the village of Caston. The earliest mention of a church here is from 1218, and there is a list of rectors dating back to 1208. The churchyard also dates from this period, and is still active.

It is built of flint with stone quoins and dressings. Both the nave and the chancel roofs are thatched. The tower is fourteenth century, acting as the entrance to the church. The nave roof is medieval, and has a fine collared scissor truss roof with a barrel-shaped interior of chestnut boarding between ribs painted in ‘barber’s pole’ fashion with gilded bosses.

There is a fine candelabra with eighteen candles believed to originate from Hampton Court.  The west window has fine medieval stained glass.

Graham Penfold, Churchwarden and member of the Parish Church Council, said:

“We are absolutely delighted to learn that the National Churches Trust has given us this fantastic level of support and are very grateful to them. Our much loved thatched church is one of the main focuses within the village and as stewards we are keen to leave the fabric in the best possible state for future generations to enjoy.”

“For the first time ever, this grant will allow for a mains water supply and the provision of a kitchenette which will transform our ability to provide food and refreshments and enable us to use the church for a much wider range of events such as concerts and other social activities for the benefit of the whole local community.”

 

THETFORD

St Cuthbert, Thetford, Norfolk

Diocese of Norwich – Church of England – Grade II*

Web address: http://thetfordteamministry.org.uk/

St Cuthbert’s church in Thetford has received a £20,000 National Churches Trust Community Grant to create a new kitchen, toilets, better access, and to re-order the interior of the church so it can be used by community groups.

The project

The project will make the church more flexible, and suitable for community use.

It includes refurbishing the hall to create new meeting spaces, a new fully equipped catering kitchen, new toilets, and internal access. Removing some of the pews in the church will create extra space to serve meals and support the community. 

With this in place, St Cuthbert’s want to establish a Community Café and Hub in the church, a social enterprise project for the local area. Work will include jobs training, meals for children during the holidays, English classes, IT classes, a soup kitchen, and a mother and toddler group.

After consultations with local people, the project has been welcomed by the community. Comments included: “this is an exciting and much needed facility” and “it will bring the community together”. 

The church

St Cuthbert’s is one of Thetford’s most widely recognised and best preserved buildings. It is Grade II* listed, and lies at the heart of Thetford, adjacent to the main shopping streets. The building is mostly 13th century and built in the Perpendicular style. The tower was rebuilt in the Victorian era following a collapse, and a north aisle was added in the early 20th century.

Current users include the British Legion, Thetford Christians Together, Cats Protection, the University of the Third Age, and Thetford Grammar School. There is also a weekly coffee morning, open to the public.

A representative of St Cuthbert’s church said:

“The church’s aim of providing a community venue supplying training, education, health and well-being and social events has come a step nearer with this generous grant from the National Churches Trust.”

“This is a key moment in our fund-raising for transforming the medieval church into a much-needed facility for the whole of Thetford.”

 

NORTHAMPTONSHIRE

DAVENTRY

St Mary the Virgin, Woodford Halse, Daventry, NN11 3RL

Diocese of Peterborough – Church of England - Grade II*

Website: https://www.achurchnearyou.com/woodford/

The church is on Historic England’s Heritage at Risk Register

St Mary the Virgin, Woodford Halse, Daventry has received a £5,000 National Churches Trust Repair Grant to help fund urgent repairs to fix its roof. 

The project

The roof repairs are essential in order to preserve and protect this historic church and will make the building watertight and viable for continued use. Before the repairs began, the church had to place buckets inside to catch drips during significant rainstorms.

The north aisle roof at the rear of the church has been a target for lead theft on several occasions over recent years. The lead will be replaced with stainless steel, making it a much less attractive target for theft. Replacement and repairs to the clay tiled roofs of the nave and chancel will also ensure that they are weatherproof and fit for purpose.

The church

St Mary’s Church is a Grade II* listed building in the heart of the Northamptonshire village of Woodford Halse. Although the original building dates back to the 12th century, a restoration in the 1870s followed the same style as the original church, using attractive local golden brown sandstone, and beautiful stained glass windows.

Some parts of the original building remain, including the south entrance, parts of the chancel and a pillar to the west end of the north aisle. A particularly notable feature is an effigy, thought to be of Maud Holland, a lady of the manor in the mid-14th century. The figure was found adjacent to the north wall during the 19th century reconstruction and moved to its current position in the chancel.

Revd Stevie Cross, Vicar of St Mary the Virgin, said:

"We are very grateful to those who have supported our work to make St. Mary’s Church Woodford Halse watertight and suitable for regular worship and outreach to the community. It has been sad to stop our weekly Thursday drop in and the regular visits from the local school and we look forward to starting these again next year."

 

OXFORDSHIRE

St Mary the Virgin church, Buckland SN7 8QW

Diocese of Oxford – Church of England - Grade I

Website: www.cherbury-gainfield.org.uk

The church is on Historic England’s Heritage at Risk Register

St Mary the Virgin church, Buckland, has received a £10,000 National Churches Trust Repair Grant to help fund urgent repairs to its roof and to replace rainwater goods. 

The project

The roof of St Mary the Virgin currently leaks and the urgent repairs being part-funded by the National Churches Trust will make it watertight - and safe.  The completion of the project will result in the church being removed from the Historic England At Risk Register. After the roof has been repaired, the next project is to improve the heating which is conspicuously poor for a large church. As a result, old people and the very young children do not attend the church in winter.

The church

There has been a church on the site of St Mary the Virgin in Buckland since before the 1086 Domesday Book. The church has a 12th century Norman nave while the chancel, tower and transepts are 13th century. The Yate and Throckmorton Catholic families from the adjacent Buckland Manor regarded the north transept as their family chapel, and the church had a Catholic patron until 1910.

The tower houses eight bells, some of which date back to the 17th century. Bell ringers encourage the faithful to come to church and they are much in demand at weddings.

 

SUSSEX

APULDRAM

St Mary the Virgin, Apuldram, West Sussex

Diocese of Chichester – Church of England – Grade I

Web address: www.apuldramchurch.co.uk

St Mary the Virgin church in Apuldram has received a £20,000 National Churches Trust Community Grant for its project to build an extension with facilities and community space.

The project

The project will create a single storey extension with a community meeting room, accessible toilet, and kitchen facilities. The extension will have a separate secure entrance, enabling its use by local groups. Land next to the church will be used as a car park for those using the new venue.  

The project ensures that this historic Grade I listed building will be able to meet the needs of the community for years to come. It will be financially self-sufficient, with low running costs and low environmental impact.  

St Mary the Virgin plans to provide a space where events such as coffee mornings will enable local people, particularly the elderly, to join a group and feel part of their community. It will also make the church a more desirable wedding venue. A new heritage trail will enable local children to learn more about their area.

The church

St Mary the Virgin dates from the 12th century and is set in the Chichester harbour Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The chancel is an excellent example of 13th century architecture on a small scale. The east wall has three beautiful lancet windows with shafts of Purbeck marble.

In the south wall is a deeply recessed piscina, or basin, and on the floor is a large slab of Purbeck marble. The 12th century square font is also Purbeck marble with original centre column. The lowest of the three altar steps is paved with 14th century encaustic tiles, made out of many colours of clay.

Reverend Canon Moira Wickens, Priest-in-charge, said:

“St Mary the Virgin, Apuldram is extremely pleased to have received a £20,000 National Churches Trust Community Grant which will make all the difference in the world as without it our vision could not be fulfilled. For over 900 years St Mary’s has played an important role in bringing the community together and building social contacts. The grant will go towards the new extension to the church which will provide a venue where residents can meet up with others, join a group and feel part of the community. It is hoped that the new facilities will be completed by June 2018.”

“It will be at the heart of the community, supporting the Harbour Conservation group, using the meeting room as an extended classroom for local schools, and helping young people to learn about their local heritage. It will enable the Diocese of Chichester to use the facilities for Quiet Days and Retreats in our peaceful and unique position, and be attractive to members from smaller groups as a venue to hold their meetings.”

“This is a very exciting time for all the parishioners and the wider community, who are looking forward to the future.”

 

TYNE AND WEAR

Christ Church, Newcastle

Diocese of Newcastle – Church of England – Grade II*

Web address: www.achurchnearyou.com/newcastle-christ-church/

Christ Church in Newcastle has received a £10,000 National Churches Trust Community Grant to replace their toilets and kitchen and refurbish the adjoining church hall.

The project

The project will upgrade the church’s facilities to improve its welcome to visitors. They will replace inadequate toilets and kitchen with modern facilities, including new plumbing and ventilation work. Other work includes replacement of windows, improvement to the heating system, and replacement furniture.

Christ Church is seeking a new multi-functional role that enables it to sustain its prime function as a place of worship as well as to serve the needs of the community around it.

An exciting plan is to make the church suitable as a space for circus training and performance, while retaining the essential worship area.

The church

Christ Church is the most significant heritage building in Shieldfield. It was built between 1859 and 1861 by Victorian architect A.B. Higham in the Decorated style. It is built of squared sandstone with ashlar dressing, with Welsh slate roofs and a tower to the southwest. It retains much of its original Victorian architectural features, including a painted plaster interior.

Commemorative stained glass includes early 20th century work by local firm G. J. Baguley and Son of Newcastle.  ‘A Guide to the Anglican Churches in Newcastle’ calls Christ Church, ‘one of the very best examples of Victorian Gothic buildings – far surpassing many more famous places.’

Priest in Charge, Father Allan Marks, said:

“This generous National Churches Trust grant will help us to make a big difference here at Christ Church as we move forward with our development plans.  In partnership with our neighbouring Church School, the award winning Circus Central, our hall users and others we are working to reach out to the wider community and to provide facilities to enrich the lives of so many people here in Shieldfield.”

 

WEST MIDLANDS

WEST MIDLANDS

Holy Trinity, Old Hill, West Midlands B63 1HE

Diocese of Worcester – Anglican – Grade II

Web address: https://holytrinity.churchinsight.com/

Holy Trinity church, Old Hill has received a £10,000 National Churches Trust Repair Grant to help fund urgent repairs to the tower roof and clock and to refurbish the kitchen.

The project

This project will secure the fabric of the tower roof and stonework enabling the building to continue to be the hub of this urban community. The tower structure will be structurally secure and water tight. The pyramid shape lead roof will be replaced, the timber structure repaired and made safe. The 1970s kitchen will be re-designed to allow provision of a wider variety of food that will attract new groups to use these facilities.

The church

Holy Trinity Church, Old Hill is a very important church within the local community and stands proudly in its own grounds in the heart of Old Hill, where it has welcomed parishioners for around 140 years. It is a beautiful Grade II listed building.

The parish church of Old Hill came into existence in the early 1870s when an Act of Parliament was passed to create a new Church of England parish church to serve a thriving and expanding Black Country village. The church was built in the decorated Gothic style.  The building was consecrated in April 1876 with the bulk of the funding coming from local industrialist Walter Bassono and George Alfred Haden-Best, the builder of Haden Hill House.

The church is valued as the only listed historic building in the locality, and serves the parish needs of over 4,000 households. The large plot with established grounds and mature trees provides the local community with a green open tranquil space.

Nick Gowers, Vicar of Holy Trinity Church, said:

"We are grateful to God for this grant from the National Churches Trust. Holy Trinity Church is a vibrant Christian community serving Old Hill and beyond with the good news of Jesus. The National Churches Trust grant will help us continue using our historical Church building for this great task into the 21st century."

 

WALES

ABERDARE

St Elvan, Aberdare, Wales, CF44 7LA

Diocese of Llandaff – Church in Wales – Grade II*

Web address: www.stelvanschurchaberdare.com

St Elvan’s church, Aberdare has received a £40,000 National Churches Trust Repair Grant to help fund urgent repairs to the roof, spire, windows, masonry and rainwater goods.

The project

The project will undertake all the necessary restoration and repairs to both the internal and external fabric of the building to protect the Grade II* heritage and WWI Monument. It will complete essential work to the church spire as well as improve the urban landscape, restore the town’s largest historic building and complete the last part of the restoration of Aberdare town’s Conservation and Improvement Area.

The newly reordered church will offer a welcoming atmosphere and the creation of a new Community Space and Café to increase access and enrich the community participation. The church will also include a Tourism Information Desk as well as an interpretation exhibition and heritage experience telling the history of the church and parish and the meaning of its religious artefacts including a rotating display of the large collection of church vestments. A range of activities will also be delivered within the church which will be educational, cultural, and social and community based to meet the needs of the community.

The project has received full support from the Local Authority and Welsh Government Assembly Members and most recently from the Penycymoedd Community Wind Farm Trust.

The church

St Elvan’s church is Grade II* listed and was built in 1852 to designs by London architect Andrew Moseley. It is situated in the centre of Aberdare and its Conservation Area. Its history is closely linked to the town's industrial development.

The church is in the gothic style and the steeple, which can be seen far across the valley, contains 8 bells. The church’s gothic styled interior is at the heart of its history with its high Anglican churchmanship. The Eden Memorial commemorating the fallen of World War One lists 222 names of soldiers from the Parish of Aberdare and is largest of its kind in the South Wales Valleys.

Fr Robert Davies SSC, Vicar of Aberdare, said:

“The award by the National Church Trust is fantastic news for our Parish and the community. It is our mission through this project to give confidence to the wider community by re-ordering St Elvan’s church and creating a vibrant hub that will serve and support people’s needs both culturally and in practical terms.”

“The National Church Trust grant of £40,000 will be a tremendous help in repairing a much beloved church that is central to the life of Aberdare town and the community’s faith and confidence. The total cost of the project is £1.5 million which will not only regenerate the parish of Aberdare and St Elvan’s church but also the Cynon Valley.”

 

LLANWRTYD

St David’s Old Church, Llanwrtyd, Wales LD5 4AD

Diocese of Swansea and Brecon – Church in Wales – Grade II*

St David’s Old Church, Llanwrtyd has received a £20,000 National Churches Trust Repair Grant to help fund urgent repairs to stonework and gutters which are allowing water into the church and damage to the nave floor.

The project

Expert surveys have highlighted continuing water penetration problems to the church, causing deterioration of the fabric, particularly to the wooden floors. The presence of cement pointing to external walls has contributed to the problem. The repair project will help preserve this lovely church for many years.

At the same time the profile of the church will be improved through the provision of new display boards, production of brochures and creation of a new church web site depicting the rich history of the church, the local area and its famous incumbents.

The church

The present church has a recorded history spanning more than 1,000 years. The site was reputed to have been chosen much earlier by St David himself for the promulgation of the Christian faith founded after the hugely significant synod at Llanddewibrefi in the year 519 A.D.

St David's Church sits in idyllic isolation, positioned above the River Irfon some 1.5 miles from Llanwrtyd Wells - exuding peace and tranquillity. The church is on a popular tourist, walking, running and biking route, attracting visitors from all over the world.

The hymn writer, William Williams of Pantycelyn, was curate here from 1740-2 before leaving as a result of his non-conformist beliefs. He was under Rev Theophilus Evans (1693-1767) who discovered the healing properties of the waters at Llanwrtyd Wells.

Blaenau Irfon Benefice Parochial Church Council said:

“The work when completed at St David’s Old Parish Church will ensure its continuance as a place of worship based its rich and esteemed history.  It is also important to note that on completion of the works the church is set to attract many more visitors nationally and internationally by opening its doors to the wider secular community.   We must say that the local community support for the project has been immense and is ongoing. Many generations of the “smallest town in the UK inhabitants” have been interned in the old churches cemetery.”