Repair funding boost for churches and chapels
Published: Tuesday, December 16, 2014
30 churches and chapels in England, Wales and Scotland are set to benefit from grants totalling £550,000 from the National Churches Trust.
The funding from the National Churches Trust – the only independent charity dedicated to supporting church buildings of all Christian denominations across the UK – will support major restoration projects including repairing roofs and stonework. It will also help pay for providing new facilities such as kitchens and accessible toilets to enable the greater community use of places of worship.
Four of the churches receiving funding are on English Heritage’s ‘At Risk Register’. The National Churches Trust funds church buildings of all Christian denominations and funding benefits Church of England, Roman Catholic, Methodist, Elim Pentecostal, Church in Wales and Scottish Episcopal places of worship.
You can view a photo gallery of the churches and chapels receiving funding at the bottom of this page
Churches receiving funding include:
St Michael and All Angels, Great Witley, Worcestershire.
‘The Sistine Chapel of the North’ completed in 1732, and which houses one of the country's most important baroque interiors. The GradeI Listed Building is on English Heritage’s ‘Heritage at Risk’ Register and receives a £20,000 National Churches Repair Grant to help fund urgent roof repairs.
St. Paul, Bow Common, London E3.
The church, built to the designs of Robert Maguire & Keith Murray in 1958-60, is widely regarded as the most architecturally important post-war parish church in the country.The Grade II* Listed Building It receives a £50,000 National Churches Cornerstone Grant to help fund a major restoration project.
St Mary the Virgin, Alton Barnes Wiltshire
The church of St Mary the Virgin in Alton Barnes is considered one of the smallest in England. Situated between Avebury and Stonehenge, the tiny church, the value of which was put at a mere £5 in 1291 is now considered to be a place of priceless history and beauty. The Grade I Listed Building receives a £20,000 National Churches Repair Grant to help fund a major restoration project including repairs to the roof and dealing with damp in walls and timberwork.
Huw Edwards, Vice President of The National Churches Trust said:
“Churches, chapels and meeting houses are a unique part of our national story. But many of these beautiful buildings are under threat from crumbling stonework, leaking roofs and rotting timbers. Others are in desperate need of modern facilities such as toilets and kitchens so that they can better serve local communities.”
“Church buildings are much loved by local people and by visitors who enjoy the history of sacred spaces. But the cost of keeping churches and chapels looking beautiful and paying for the installation of modern facilities is far beyond the means of congregations. That’s why the latest grants from the National Churches Trust are so important as they will help ensure that more of the UK’s places of worship remain open and playing a vital role in the life of the nation for many years to come.”
FULL GRANT INFORMATION BY ENGLISH COUNTY AND WALES AND SCOTLAND FOLLOWS
HILDERSHAM, Holy Trinity, Cambridgeshire CB21 6BU Grade I (Church of England)
£5,000 National Churches Trust Community Grant to help fund a project to provide a water supply, an accessible toilet and a kitchenette.
Holy Trinity Church is a beautiful and historic building but the Parochial Church Council sees the church building as a community asset rather than a Sunday museum, accessible to all and capable of supporting a wide range of activities and events, both social and cultural.
Holy Trinity Church dates back to the end of the 12th century. It has an extremely elaborate scheme of 19th century wall paintings to the chancel which are among the finest in the country and are of national and international interest. There are some medieval and a significant number of Victorian stained glass windows.
The new facilities will help make the church building more central to community life in the village, allowing it to be used for concerts, meals, and meetings. They will also improve the welfare of all those who use the building, notably: the elderly; those with disabilities; those with small children; expectant mothers; the many visitors wishing to see the wall paintings and local residents attending a wide range of community events.
GLOSSOP, Glossop Central Methodist Church, Nottinghamshire SK13 8AT Unlisted (Methodist)
£15,000 National Churches Repair Grant to help fund urgent repairs to the roof covering to stop damage to the main worship space
Glossop Central opened in 1966 and consists of the church and ancillary rooms. The church is a high framed structure with pitched roofs. The remaining accommodation, used by church and community groups, is constructed with flat roofs set at different levels.
Glossop Central is an open and welcoming Christian community in the heart of Glossop. The church is always busy, with a wide variety of regular activities to suit everyone, whatever their age.
It provides particular help for those people identified as 'in the margins' i.e. young parents, single people, the elderly, disabled and carers and aligns itself with organisations including the Stroke Association, Dementia Decaf, Memory Lane to provide a base for their clients. There is also a link with the volunteer bureau allowing opportunities for volunteers to obtain self worth and further opportunities for employment. Ensuring the church has a watertight roof will enable it to extend this valuable work.
EXETER, St Thomas the Apostle Church, Devon EX4 1AP Anglican Grade I (Church of England) On English Heritage’s ‘ At Risk Register’
£50,000 National Churches Cornerstone Grant to help fund a major urgent repair project including full re-roofing of the east end of the church, full rebuilding and re-rendering of the parapets and pinnacles, re-leading of the valley and parapet gutters, full overhaul and renewal of the rainwater system.
Throughout its history, the Church of St Thomas has remained as a Christian presence on the west bank of the River Exe and has given its name to this whole area of the city. St Thomas Church was built on the present site on land given by the Monks of Cowick and consecrated in 1405 to replace a previous chapel destroyed by flood. The church was destroyed by fire in 1645 during the Civil War because there was a fear that it would be fortified and used against the city.
The third and existing church was built during the time of the Commonwealth and opened in 1657 with the north aisle and transepts were added in 1829. Much of the money raised to build it came from public subscription due to widespread sympathy for the church throughout the country.
At the beginning of the Reformation the then vicar Robert Welshe became the leader of the rebels in the Prayer Book Rebellion of 1549. For this action, he was hung from the church tower in his 'Popishe apparel'. It was during this period that the church became known as St Thomas the Apostle.
St Thomas remains an important focus at the heart of a vibrant community, albeit one with very significant areas of deprivation, and provides much needed amenities for community groups alongside its worship, pastoral care and Christian witness. It is frequently visited by local historians, genealogists and tourists.
St Thomas has been selected to become the main parish church for an area formerly served by three separate churches. One neighbouring church will close and another is being taken over by a congregation from a different denomination.
BOURNEMOUTH, Corpus Christi Church, Boscombe BH7 6AN Grade II (Roman Catholic)
£10,000 National Churches Trust Community Grant to help fund a project to provide toilets and a meeting room.
The new facilities will allow for greater use of the church building by the local community, particularly by those most in need, in an uplifting and supportive environment.
Corpus Christi is a Victorian brick-built interpretation of a Gothic church, opened in 1896, to replace the chapel, built of iron, erected in 1888. Originally seating 400, the church was enlarged to accommodate 800 in the 1930s and its matching tower added. The tower, at over 100 feet high, has two large windows each 48 feet tall and filled with old Norman glass of rich tints.
The church serves a widespread catchment area containing substantial areas of social deprivation as well as a few of moderate affluence and the area has a diverse racial mix. The Parish Centre, in separate building, is home to local activities and groups, including Alcoholics Anonymous, Brownies, Rainbows, Mothers and Toddlers Group and a pre-school Nursery.
FLETCHING, (Near UCKFIELD) St Andrew and St Mary the Virgin, East Sussex TN22 3SR Grade I (Church of England)
£10,000 National Churches Trust Community Grant to help fund a project providing a disabled toilet, kitchen and social space.
There is no public toilet in Fletching and apart from deterring worshippers, the lack of a toilet is also a problem for visitors. The new facilities will allow village organisations to hold meetings and other gatherings in the church including The Royal British Legion, The Fletching Pre-School and The Parish Council.
The imposing church was completed around 1230. It is cruciform Early English and one of the largest churches in the district. The spire is the second tallest of a Sussex country church and has 8 bells. The Sheffield Mausoleum contains family members and the coffin of Edward Gibbon, author of 'The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire’. Simon de Montfort prayed with his barons in the church on the eve of the Battle of Lewes. Knights killed in the battle were buried in full armour beneath the nave.
The church is located at the highest point in the centre of the village, and it is the main communal building, apart from a small village hall. It is a much loved place, which is the heart of the community. People regularly visit it, including tourists, to soak up its history, its peace and beauty.
HOPWOOD, HEYWOOD, St John the Evangelist, Greater Manchester (near Rochdale) OL10 2EQ Unlisted (Church of England)
£10,000 National Churches Repair Grant to help fund a project including urgent repairs to the roof, west gable wall and windows.
St John’s is a large Parish church over 108 years old approximately 10 miles from Manchester city centre. It is in an expanding area due to its location near Junction 19 of the M62, with many new families moving into area.
It is a much-needed and much-loved centre for the local community and hosts many groups, from Tiddlywinks ( for under 3s) to a Community Club for retirees. It is also visited during the year by the local primary school for assemblies, and special services. The church is a centre for local groups such as the Art Club, Slimmer’s World, police liaison meetings, and acts as a Polling Station.
St. John’s originally came about by the actions of two schoolteachers from St. Luke’s, who set up a mission in a house in Mount Street, Heywood around 1841. Textile mills and industry had developed along the Rochdale Canal and housing developments naturally followed.
A mission school was set up in 1868 and eventually an iron church was built on the present site of St. John’s in 1881 at a cost of £1,000.
It soon became apparent that a more substantial building was called for and plans were drawn up in 1885 to build a permanent church on the same site. As there were no wealthy people connected with the church it was decided to go outside the Parish to raise the necessary funds. Clergyman throughout in England were contacted and also Members of Parliament, lords, barons and knights.
The architect chosen to build St. John’s was a Mr Oakley. The foundation stone was laid in 1903 by Mrs Beatrice Kemp, wife of Colonel Kemp, the local MP; 4,000 people attended the ceremony. She was presented with a silver trowel and an ivory mallet donated by James Lee, a jeweller in Market Place. In a cavity under the stone is a bottle containing coins, copies of local newspapers and other records.
NEWTON HEATH, All Saints, Greater Manchester M40 1LR Grade II (Church of England)
£10,000 National Churches Repair Grant to help fund a major restoration project including the last phase of re-roofing.
The church of All Saints was built by an Act of Parliament 1814 and consecrated in 1816 to replace the 1556 structure which collapsed in 1806. It is a Georgian galleried church with Victorian additions and is one of the earliest known buildings to be supported on cast-iron pillars.
The church stands prominently at the top of Briscoe Lane heading North towards Oldham. The building is on the junction of three main roads and is pretty much the last vestige in the centre of Newton Heath of its industrial heyday. There is some evidence that an earlier church prior to 1556 may lie beneath the current building, which lies directly on the old Roman Road which ran from Manchester to York.
In terms of indices of deprivation, it is one of the poorest parishes in the country. Once the roof has been fixed, the church will be a beautifully restored and conserved building and will be in a position to develop more community uses and be fit for inner-city ministry in the 21st century.
MIDDLETON ON THE HILL, St Mary The Virgin (Leominster) Herefordshire SY8 4BE Grade I (Church of England)
£20,000 National Churches Repair Grant to help fund repairs to the tower stonework and the re-roofing of the nave.
St Mary's is the only public building in the parish. The church is in a cul de sac surrounded by fields and within its triangular church-yard with old yew and chestnut trees. The nave and the chancel date almost completely from the 12th Century and the tower was added in the 13th Century. It is constructed from random coursed local sandstone. There are three bells, cast in the Worcester foundry in the 15th Century, each is inscribed in Lombard capitals.
Middleton was mentioned in the Domesday Book as 'Micletune'.
LONDON, BOW COMMON, St. Paul Bow Common E3 4AR Grade II* (Church of England)
£50,000 National Churches Cornerstone Grant to help fund a major restoration project which includes making normal use of the church safe again after heavy wood wool slabs fell down onto the altar from the church's high-level lantern roof in June 2013. Leaking downpipes embedded in the church's walls will also be repaired.
The church, built to the designs of Robert Maguire & Keith Murray in 1958-60, is widely regarded as the most architecturally important post-war parish church in the country.
The first church in the UK to be designed around a central altar, it was the first post-war church to be listed and the first to be listed at grade II*. The freestanding altar sits under a baldachin and the whole church is largely lit from a great lantern roof high above the altar.
The lettering around the porch is by Ralph Beyer, who created the lettering work for Coventry Cathedral. A 800 sq ft Murano glass mosaic mural by Charles Lutyens stretching around the interior is probably the largest work of its kind to be executed by a single artist in the UK.
In 2013 the church was judged to be “The UK's Best Modern Church" in a competition run by the National Churches Trust, the 20th Century Society and the Ecclesiastical Architects and Surveyors Association
The church endeavours to serve the whole community regardless of social or other background, faith group membership or none, and in particular has been successful in growing relationships with, and use by, the area's Muslim community. In addition to religious services/worship the church runs a youth club and a night shelter, and hosts a range of other activities including yoga and zumba classes and provides a meeting space for local estate groups and addiction groups, a social group for young adults with learning difficulties, a weekly women's lunch club and occasional political meetings.
HARLESTON, St John the Baptist Church, Norfolk IP20 9AZ Grade II (Church of England)
£10,000 National Churches Trust Community Grant to help fund a project to provide toilets.
Toilets will allow the church to be used far more as a community resource, as it is well positioned in the middle of the town with an easy accessible car park. This will include the permanent use of the church by Foodbank for the distribution of food parcels, by the Choral Society for their rehearsals, social events especially for the young and elderly and Mothers’ Union meetings.
Harleston is a small East Anglian market town. The church was built in the 1870s to replace a medieval church on the market place. The modern church, with the feel of a chapel, was built by diocesan architect Richard Phipson, best known for the interior of Norwich St Peter Mancroft and the complete rebuilding of Ipswich St Mary le Tower. He did a lot of work in the Waveney valley, but this is thought to be his only complete church outside of Suffolk.
The church currently hosts the local sewing group, coffee mornings, refreshments once a week, light lunches once a month and art and craft exhibitions. The Harleston Choral Society hold concerts twice a year and the summer Harleston Festival use it regularly each year but the local hall has to be used for the toilets. It is also used by the Mother's Union, Wives Group and various fellowship groups.
HEMBLINGTON, All Saints, Norfolk, NR13 4EF Grade I (Church of England)
£10,000 National Churches Trust Community Grant to help fund a project to provide level access into the church, a small extension for a disabled toilet, a kitchenette and a small heritage/tourism area.
Since May 2012 the church has increased its opening hours from just Sundays to every day of the week between 9am and 5pm and visitor numbers have increased considerably as a result.
The new facilities will allow local groups to use the church as an educational resource, encourage more children to become part of the community by developing child friendly worship and help those travelling long distances to weddings baptisms and funerals. It will make the church a place to linger rather than to rush away from at the end of services and events, strengthening friendship between church and community members.
Hemblington has a simple yet special treasure in its church. Despite being a very small parish in a rural location, it has served its community well. This is a church that takes the visitor far away from the rush of a busy world. The round tower, dating from 1060 – 1100, is a reminder of the long history of Christian worship on this site. Within it, one of the country's largest wall paintings of St Christopher greets the visitor. The uncluttered interior, medieval bench ends and magnificent font all tell stories of faith and worship throughout the centuries.
NORTH WALSHAM, St Nicholas NR28 9BT Grade I (Church of England)
£10,000 National Churches Repair Grant to help fund repairs to the tower, bellcote, stonework and west window
The present church of Saint Nicholas was built in the 14th Century between 1330 and 1390. At the West of the North side is the remains of the pre conquest tower. The 14th Century tower was the tallest local construction, second only in height to Norwich Cathedral. It contained a peal of bells which were rung for the Ascension Tide Fayre in 1724. The following day the tower collapsed and began to take on the shape known today.
More masonry fell in 1835 and during heavy gales in 1836 when the North side fell. Following this the East tower wall was lowered and made safe. Plans to rebuild the tower failed to materialise as maintenance and improvement costs for the rest of the building spiralled. Stabilisation work was carried out in 1939. In 2011 flints were falling and a crack appeared in the exposed wall. A high level survey was carried out and revealed crumbling walls which require proper measures to make the tower safe and durable for the future.
Regular community activities take place in the church including concerts, weekly soup lunches for college students, art exhibitions and civic services.
KINGSTON LISLE, St John the Baptist OX12 9QQ Grade II* (Church of England) On English Heritage’s ‘ At Risk Register’
£20,000 National Churches Repair Grant to help fund a major restoration project including repairs to the roof, bellcote and porch.
The restoration work will create an inspirational place to visit from near and far, for people of all ages to enjoy the heritage of this ancient building.
The church dates back to the 12th Century and was allegedly founded in response to Pagan worship on the nearby White Horse Hill. Open everyday, it seats 120 people. Of particular note are 14th Century wall paintings depicting Peter, Paul, Herod and Salomé (with the Baptist's head on a platter), the stained glass and the 15th-17th Century bench ends, panelling, pulpit and rood screen. The interior was left largely untouched by the Victorians, who added a vestry, porch and bellcote.
The church was recently considered for closure but in the last two years it has more than doubled the congregation to its highest levels since available records began 30 years ago. The church is now packed at Christmas and Easter services and has formed a choir in the village which performs at these. The restored church will be able to host other events such as concerts and talks.
BATH, Elim Pentecostal Church BA1 2ND, Grade II* (Elim Pentecostal)
£10,000 National Churches Trust Community Grant to help fund a project to upgrade the kitchen and toilets to allow greater community use.
Once the upgrade is completed, the church will be open for 365 days per year, and will operate 7 days a week. The plan is to meet the long term needs of the community and church with possible new activities including a Youth Club, a Luncheon Club, parenting courses, a Food Bank and drama and dance workshops.
Elim Pentecostal Church is a Grade II* listed building built in 1854 to the designs of Henry Goodridge, and is of outstanding architectural and historic interest. It is located in Charlotte Street, near the centre of Bath. The building, formally known as The Percy Chapel, was founded by the congregation from Argyle Chapel, after the appointment of the Rev W H Dyer who succeeded the retiring and influential Rev William Jay. The Elim Church was established in Bath in 1915 and moved to The Percy Chapel in 1954.
As well as a full Sunday programme, Elim Pentecostal Church currently hosts a Toddler Group, Bath Spa Band practice and a Senior Citizens Group, together with Breakfast Clubs and coffee mornings.
BATH, St Michael with St Paul, Somerset BA1 5LJ Grade I (Church of England) On English Heritage’s ‘ At Risk Register’
£50,000 National Churches Cornerstone Grant to help fund urgent repairs to the spire, tower and stonework required due to weathering of the Bath Stone.
St Michael's is an Anglican church on a site of Christian worship dating back to at least the 10th century AD, when it guarded the northern Fosse Way approach to Bath Abbey. The current building was designed by the Bath architect G. P. Manners after the style of the Lady Chapel in Salisbury Cathedral, and was consecrated in 1837. The original galleries were removed in an 1889 reordering scheme, and then partially reinstated during 2007 in a second reordering scheme that included creation of a glass mezzanine deck, accessible toilets and the installation of a lift. The church retains a 19th century organ, believed to be the first designed by William Sweetland.
Located in the centre of Bath, St Michael’s plays an important role in both the civic and religious life of the city. It welcomes everyone unconditionally and takes its vocation to be hospitable very seriously to those with particular demands and also to any passer-by who is attracted to an island of urban calm.
Visitors include the homeless, those attending counselling at Focus Counselling, attendees at Narcotics Anonymous and Alcoholics Anonymous; tourists; those coming to the building for concerts, lectures and exhibitions; those who come into the church to find a quiet space or to pray; those who buy charity cards at Christmas; and those who come to use the church’s cafe.
WESTON-SUPER-MARE, Emmanuel Church, Somerset BS23 1TN Grade II (Church of England)
£40,000 National Churches Cornerstone Grant to help fund urgent repairs to the tower; stonework is now falling off and falling masonry means that parking has been prohibited in one area of the church’s car park.
Emmanuel church, built in 1847 by Manners and Gill, is located in the Victorian resort of Weston Super Mare. In the 1970s the building was divided into two with the west end becoming a hall with a mezzanine floor. Offices are located on the first floor. Recent redevelopments mean that this is now one of the oldest buildings in this area of town. In recent years the interior of the hall end of the building has been refurbished and now works well for church and community use.
The church hosts a wide variety of projects and schemes over the week. These include a counselling service that specialises in working with ex-offenders; addicts; recovering addicts and those with difficulties associated with a chaotic lifestyle; Alcoholics Anonymous; Narcotics Anonymous; Age UK lunch club; homeless lunch club; lonely lunch club (60% of properties near the church are lived in by one person); during winter months the church hosts a winter warmth scheme which provides soup and bread and space on two evenings a week for lonely and needy people.
TYNE AND WEAR
NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, FENHAM, St James and St Basil, Tyne and Wear NE4 9EJ Grade II (Church of England)
£10,000 National Churches Trust Community Grant to help fund a project to provide a small kitchen and servery in a side nave.
There is currently a small kitchen in the church with a very small old sink and a free standing boiler, and refreshments are served on a trolley, but the space is cramped and there is little room for preparation or storage.
The provision of a new kitchen and servery will encourage use of the church for a toddler group, community workshops and coffee mornings.
St James and St. Basil's was built in 1931, a magnificent example of late arts and crafts architecture, built by Jack and Eric Lofting. It is dedicated to James and Basil, sons of James Knott, who were killed in the First World War. It is a prominent building and an important landmark in this area of Newcastle. It has a garden to one side, the development of which has recently become an exciting community project. There are many distinguishing features in the church including beautiful stained glass windows by Edward Woore designed around texts from Psalm 104.
The church hopes to restore its listed organ and develop a music programme reaching out to local schools and the community through an education programme and concerts. The kitchen will also be used for refreshments for concerts and musical events after the restoration of the organ.
BARTON-ON-THE-HEATH, St Lawrence Church, Warwickshire GL56 0PH Grade II* (Church of England)
£15,000 National Churches Repair Grant to help fund a project including repairs to the roof, rainwater goods, parapet gutter and tower stonework.
St Lawrence Church in Barton-on-the-Heath dates from the 12th century but an Anglo-Danish church was probably on the site in the early 11th century. Medieval stained glass close to the altar and the mysterious carving of a leaping animal behind the chancel arch are amongst its treasures. The church was altered in the 14th, 15th and 17th centuries and, by William Butterfield, in the 19th century. The font is 15th century. The East Window commemorates the Bird family including William Wilberforce's mother, who is buried here. The West Tower, with its saddle-backed roof, was completed in the early 14th century.
Barton-on-the-Heath is in the extreme south of Warwickshire and the village has a rich history and connections with Robert Dover, who started the Cotswold Games.
The church and hall are used by the congregation and the local community including Rainbows, Brownies, an Adult special needs support group, Indoor bowls, church meetings, socials, private lets and parties.
ERDINGTON, Erdington Methodist Church, Birmingham B23 6TX Unlisted (Methodist)
£10,000 National Churches Trust Community Grant to help fund a project including creating a new entrance and cafe area and installing toilets.
The extra facilities are aimed at the local community and the aim is to open the church as often as possible for people to drop in for refreshments, fellowship and relaxation.
The church building was erected in 1970, a new building for three congregations as two churches were closing, and replacing an original built in the early 1900s. Architecturally it is typical of its time and originally some people did not realise it was a church, describing it as 'looking like a warehouse'.
The building is well used and open daily. There is a weekly Saturday morning coffee bar with regular customers from the local community who have no other connection with the church. A fortnightly luncheon club meets the needs of the elderly and particularly those living alone; here they find fellowship and have a low price cooked meal with approximately 40% coming from the wider community.
ALTON BARNES, St Mary the Virgin, Wiltshire SN8 4LB Grade I (Church of England)
£20,000 National Churches Repair Grant to help fund a major restoration project including repairs to the roof and dealing with damp in walls and timberwork.
The church of St Mary the Virgin in Alton Barnes is considered one of the smallest in England. Situated between Avebury and Stonehenge, the tiny Church, the value of which was put at a mere £5 in 1291 is now considered to be a place of priceless history and beauty.
St Mary’s is listed Grade I by English Heritage as a building of outstanding architectural and historic interest. Sir Simon Jenkins, in his “Britain’s Thousand Best Churches” describes the church as “an enchanting place” and says “So small is the space that preaching in Alton Barnes must be more like a private conversation with the congregation.”
The church is partly Saxon, being originally built probably in the 10th century and has had many works of change notably the 14th century south door, the 16th century tie-beamed roof and the triple-decker Georgian pulpit font and gallery. There has also been Victorian and early 20th century work. The three windows are thought to be 14th century and there are small but very beautiful memorial panes by Laurence and Simon Whistler.
The church is open every day and already hosts local events, including a Flower Festival, musical recitals and a number of talks and lectures on a wide variety of topics. Following the completion of the restoration work additional ways will be developed to involve the community with the church and to substantially increase the number of visitors.
EVESHAM, All Saints (Evesham Abbey Bell Tower) WR11 4RW Grade I (Church of England)
£10,000 National Churches Repair Grant to help fund urgent repairs to the stonework of the Bell Tower.
In August 2012 some quite large pieces of stone fell from the Bell Tower and work is required at all levels and areas of its external fabric.
Evesham Abbey Bell Tower is a magnificent grade I detached bell tower, built in around 1530. The building survived the dissolution of Evesham Abbey in 1540. Since 1977 the bell tower has served the church of All Saints. The tower acts as a cemetery gate, has a public clock, and is used to call the congregation to worship. The bell tower is largely unchanged and unaltered since it was first built. The bell tower has, throughout the history of the town and nation, rung for events of national significance, such as royal weddings, victories in war, significant funerals and to mark local funerals and weddings held in All Saints.
The church is open throughout each day for visits, including individual private prayer and contemplation. The church is also used for major civic events (notably the Civic Service and Remembrance Day), for school ser-vices, and for services for selected town organisations (such as the Scouts or Guides). A new access ramp (for wheelchair users and mothers with prams) was installed in the church in 2012, providing safer and better access for everyone visiting.
GREAT WITLEY, St Michael and All Angels, Worcestershire WR6 6JT Grade I (Church of England) On English Heritage’s ‘ At Risk Register’
£20,000 National Churches Repair Grant to help fund urgent roof repairs.
St Michael and All Angels, ‘The Sistine Chapel of the north’ is the parish church of Great Witley, Worcestershire. It stands alongside, but is independent of Witley Court, a ruined mansion under the guardianship of English Heritage. The building, completed in 1732, houses one of the country's most important baroque interiors. Simon Jenkins in ‘England’s Thousand Best Churches’ calls it "An Italianate extravaganza".
Three ceiling paintings, which were transported intact from the home of the Duke of Chandos, (Cannons House at Edgware in Middlesex,) in 1747, are rare examples of the work of the Italian artist Antonio Bellucci and were subject to extensive restoration in 1993/4 after years of neglect.
Breathtaking gilded ceiling mouldings were made on site in the 1740s using papier-maché moulds. Some 10 years ago, the cross, orb and cupola over the clock tower were re-gilded to spectacular effect.
The church also has a fine organ, its case being from the instrument on which Handel played. Many musicians consider its acoustics for music to be as fine as any building of its size outside London.
When the roof coverings were last repaired in the 1970s, many of the tiles were secured by tingles or with coach bolts and neoprene washers, now considered a very poor technique. Many of the tiles are also now in a poor condition, being cracked, split or becoming unfixed. Given the importance of the delicate ceiling and ceiling paintings beneath, any water leaks caused by defective slates or flashings could be disastrous.
OXENHOPE, St Mary the Virgin (near Keighley), West Yorkshire BD22 9QJ Grade II (Church of England)
£15,000 National Churches Repair Grant to help fund urgent repairs to the tower, rainwater goods and windows
St Mary's Parish Church is a prominent, much admired and loved building in the village of Oxenhope, which sits well in its Pennine landscape.
In 1845, the Reverend Patrick Bronté, father of the famous novelist sisters Charlotte, Anne and Emily Bronte, appointed the curate the Revd Joseph Brett Grant, to take charge of the newly formed Ecclesiastical district, now know as Oxenhope village parish. He lived in Lowertown, Oxenhope.
He began to hold services in a nearby wool combing shop. Within a year he had raised enough money to build a day school, which served as a Sunday school and church. He was a tireless worker who collected money for a new church. Charlotte Bronte wrote that he wore out 14 pairs of shoes in his quest for money.
His efforts were rewarded on 14th February 1849 when the foundation stone was laid. Later that year the church was consecrated by the Bishop of Ripon.
The architects Ignatius Bonomi and John Cory, who built churches up and down the north east and Durham adapted the early Norman style, giving the impression to modern visitors of a church much older than its 150 years. It is constructed in millstone grit with stone and natural slate roofs. The East windows are by the William Morris Studio.
The square West End Tower is only forty-four feet high and houses two levels of meeting rooms, which were added in 1991. The tower contains a fine ring of eight bells, which are rung twice weekly, and also by visiting bell-ringers. Newcomers and children are welcomed to learn to ring the bells. An electronic silent bellringing simulator is used for this, so as not to disturb neighbours.
SHEFFIELD, Wesley Hall (part of Wesley Ebenezer Methodist Church) S10 1UD Grade II (Methodist)
£20,000 National Churches Repair Grant to help fund urgent repairs to the roof, decaying timbers and re-pointing leaking parapet walls and piers.
Wesley Hall is an octagonal stone building with radial wings and a main pyramidal roof topped by a lantern. It was designed by local architect WJ Hale, blending Perpendicular Gothic with Arts and Crafts. After opening in 1908 it was the third church he built in the Crookes area of Sheffield. The other two churches have since been converted into flats and offices which leaves Wesley Hall as the only local church designed by Hale that is still used as a place of worship.
During the 1960s and 70s there was a reduction in the congregation so the church met in a smaller hall at the back while the main worship space was rented out for storage use and later as a furniture auction room. In 1991, the church building was reclaimed and redeveloped to give a split level interior with a Church Hall downstairs and Sanctuary above for worship.
The church runs a number of regular activities from the building in order to support the community, with a weekly seniors’ lunch club and a toddler group. In a typical week, around 650 people come through the door to take part in these activities.
CWMYSTWYTH, St Michael and All Angels (Hafod Church) - Eglwys Newydd, Ceredigion, Wales SY25 6DE Grade II* (Church in Wales)
£10,000 National Churches Trust Community Grant to help fund a project to add a toilet and water supply.
The project will allow the church to be used by more community groups and to better cater for visitors and tourists.
Eglwys Newydd, also affectionately and more usually known as Hafod Church, is situated in a quiet and picturesque area, on the boundary of the Hafod Estate. The first church at Hafod was built in 1620 by Morgan Herbert, one of the early Squires of the Hafod Estate. ln 1803 James Wyatt , best known as the restorer of Salisbury Cathedral and some extravagantly Gothic country houses, designed an impressive new church.
The church offers worship and prayer to the local community through regular bi-lingual services and a place for persons to come to pay respects to lost loved ones. A touch screen kiosk in the church enables visitors seeking family history to easily locate the gravestones of family members.
Over recent years the number of visitors to the church has increased substantially partly due to the Hafod Estate Trust developing many beautiful walks which have incorporated the church, and from joining with the faith trail "Peaceful Places/Llefydd Llonydd", which involves 17 unique churches/ chapels in north Ceredigion, aimed at increasing visitor numbers and bringing economic benefits to the local communities.
Local school children regularly visit the building, not only for services but as a learning resource.
MATHRY, Holy Martyrs, Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire Wales SA62 5HA Grade II Anglican (Church in Wales)
£10,000 National Churches Repair Grant to help fund a project including replacing the nave ceiling and chancel roof, repointing stonework and redecoration.
Set on a hill commanding panoramic views of North Pembrokeshire and the coast, Mathry has claims to be one of the oldest settlements in Pembrokeshire. Mathry church lies in the centre of the vibrant village, visible for miles around.
The hilltop site may have an early Christian history, perhaps reflected in the two incised early Christian stones from elsewhere in the parish now standing in the porch. The present church dates from 1868, replacing a medieval church. It was designed by R K Penson whose work is today considered of significance, as the achievements of Victorian architecture increasingly gain the attention and re-evaluation they deserve.
The church is has good relationships with the local community and is frequently used for musical events. It is usually always open and well visited by tourists, as it is on the Saints and Stones Pilgrimage trail www.saintsandstones.co.uk, but is currently closed due to a dangerous ceiling.
MOLD, King's Christian Centre, (Pendref Chapel) Flintshire, Wales CH7 1RA Grade II
£15,000 National Churches Repair Grant to help fund a project including reslating the roof, repairing rotten woodwork and renovating the decorative ceiling, a beautiful, historic part of the Chapel.
Built in response to John Wesley's preaching (he came to Mold in 1750, '51 and '52), the chapel was opened in 1822 by the Welsh Wesleyan Church, on land donated by the Mostyn family. It was purchased by King's Christian Centre in 2000. The building stands in a very prominent place in the town of Mold, as a part of the Historic Monument, Bailey Hill, a 12th century fortress.
In addition to regular worship, the chapel is in use by FLASH, a local Homeless charity which meets there and feeds 30 people per week, the local Social Services department, the St. John's Ambulance group and Pentan Choir.
TREFNANT, Holy Trinity, Denbighshire, Wales LL16 5UF Grade II* (Church in Wales)
£10,000 National Churches Trust Community Grant to help fund a project to remove pews at the west end of the nave and install a toilet with disabled access and a small kitchen.
The project will help to make the church more welcoming - especially for baptisms, weddings and funerals - and encourage wider community use for concerts, exhibitions and by local interest groups.
Located at the south-western edge of the village, set back within its churchyard, Holy Trinity is a memorial church erected between 1853 and 1855 to the memory of Colonel John Lloyd Salusbury of Galltfaenan Hall by his daughters Mrs Townsend Mainwaring and Mrs Charles Mainwaring. The church was designed by Sir George Gilbert Scott, and was a lavish commission, with the arcade columns and capitals made of polished Mona marble. A vestry was added by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott in 1907 under the patronage of Colonel Charles Salusbury Mainwaring, also of Galltfaenan Hall.
BLANTYRE, St Joseph's RC Church, Scotland (Glasgow) G72 9DA Grade B (II*) (Roman Catholic)
£40,000 National Churches Cornerstone Grant to help fund urgent repairs including re-slating of all roofs, renewing leadwork, restoration of stained and leaded glass windows and minor stone and pointing repairs.
The church, a tall red sandstone building, is a prominent landmark sitting on Glasgow Road, the main road through Blantyre, a Lanarkshire town between Glasgow and Hamilton.
The present church building is the third to serve the needs of the parish since its foundation in 1877. Blantyre is a former weaving and colliery town in South Lanarkshire. The workforce for these industries was supplied by immigration from Ireland, hence the need for a Catholic church.
The first post reformation Church was opened in Dixon’s Rows in 1877 and was soon replaced by the Church – School on the site of the current parish hall. Work began on the current church designed by the famous architects Pugin and Pugin in 1903 and it was opened in June 1905 at a cost of £10,001.
It has one of the best interiors of a Pugin and Pugin church and the church was redecorated in 1928 when the Carrara marble altar and Caen stone reredos were fitted.
The church and hall are used by the congregation and the local community including Rainbows, Brownies, an Adult special needs support group, Indoor bowls, church meetings, socials, private lets and parties.
HAMILTON, St Mary the Virgin (nr Glasgow) ML3 6JT Grade B (II*) (Scottish Episcopal)
£15,000 National Churches Trust Community Grant to help fund a project providing an extension with a kitchen, a meeting space, cafe area, disabled access and toilets.
St. Mary's has a history of outreach and of responding to local needs over 166 years. The past 10 years have seen the number of organisations using the church and the services it provides grow significantly; this has put pressure on existing space both in terms of size and configuration. The "St. Mary's For All" project is designed to adapt, develop and extend facilities to meet the needs of existing users and partners as well as encourage use by the local community more generally by providing more comfortable meeting spaces.
The church was built by the brother of the first incumbent, Tractarian architect John Henderson in 1845, and the chancel extended by his son George in 1872. It is of an Early English style. The presence of an Episcopalian church in Hamilton was in part explained by the nearby Cameronian barracks with its quota of English officers. There are many military memorials, including commemorative windows, and historic regimental colours displayed in the church.