Historic churches and chapels saved for the future

Published: Thursday, June 16, 2016

 

29 churches and chapels in England, Wales, Scotland and the Channel Islands are set to benefit from rescue funding of £391,000 from the National Churches Trust.

They include:

St Athernase church in Leuchars, a place of worship for 900 years and one of the best preserved Romanesque churches in Scotland

Saron Independent Congregational Chapel, Treoes,  which played a major role in the 19th century Welsh non-conformist movement

Saltaire United Reformed Church, Grade I Listed and a breathtaking example of Italianate religious architecture at the heart of the UNESCO World Heritage model village of Saltaire

St Margaret of Antioch, a church which has stood largely unchanged in the Oxfordshire village of Hinton Waldrist and which was brought to public attention by Queen guitarist Brian May in his research into the stereoscopic imagery of the Victorian photographer TR Williams.

The funding from the National Churches Trust – the charity supporting church buildings of all Christian denominations across the UK – will help pay for urgent roof and other structural repairs. It will also help fund improving access and the installation of kitchens and toilets to safeguard the future of churches by allowing them to be used more widely by local people for community activities.

14 of the churches and chapels receiving funding are on Historic England’s Heritage At Risk Register.

The National Churches Trust is a charity which supports church buildings of all Christian traditions and the latest grants benefit Church of England, Church of Scotland, Church in Wales, Methodist, United Reformed and Presbyterian places of worship.

Cinnamon Network

3 churches and chapels also receivethe first National Churches Trust micro-grants to set up a Cinnamon Network Recognised Project. The micro-grants will allow churches to set up a social action project such as CAP Money Courses, Make Lunch and Parish Nursing.  The Cinnamon Network is a charity that works with churches to help those most at need in their communities.

Huw Edwards, Vice President of The National Churches Trust said: “At the heart of the nation’s history, churches and chapels are some of the UK's best loved local buildings. But their future is not guaranteed”

“The latest funding from the National Churches Trust helps will help 29 UK churches and chapels continue to flourish at the heart of their communities by safeguarding their architecture and making sure their facilities are up to date.”

 “Everyone can make a contribution to the future of the UK's churches and chapels by volunteering to help look after these precious buildings. If you’ve got practical skills you could help clear drains and gutters, if you are a good communicator you could help show people the history and architecture of a local church or you could simply be a good neighbour and keep an eye out for vandals or thieves.”

“Churches and chapels may be historic buildings, but they can be part of our future, too.”

Photo gallery of churches and chapels being helped.

Three churches receive National Churches Trust Cornerstone Grants

St Mary’s Church, Kemp Town, Sussex BN2 1PR

A £40,000 National Churches Trust Cornerstone Grant will help fund urgent and essential repairs to the roofs, stonework and gutters to help restore the fabric of this Grade II* Listed church and ensure that it continues to thrive as a hub for the local community.

 Fr Andrew Woodward, Priest-in-charge at St Mary’s, said: "We are delighted and grateful in equal measure to be awarded this Cornerstone Grant, which has made our first round of major repairs financially viable. But it’s not just the money. The National Churches Trust’s endorsement of our vision to grow St Mary’s as a community resource is incredibly encouraging, especially to our volunteers who’ve worked for many years to give it a bright and purposeful future. We see our beautiful building as a gift from God. It works magnificently as a church but it also speaks and offers so much to people who are not practising Christians, and we want to share that appeal as widely as we can."

St George’s church, Tredegar, Blaenau Gwent  NP22 3DU

St George’s church, Tredegar, a Grade II Listed landmark in the town, receives a £40,000 National Churches Trust Cornerstone Grant to help fund urgent and essential repairs including restoration of the tower structure, a new tower roof and repairs to roof joists.

Fr John Davis, Vicar of St George, said: ‘This National Churches Trust Cornerstone Grant will enable us as preserve this important historic building for future generations and provide easy access for the disabled of this generation. St George’s can now open its doors to more people, and we welcome people to Worship and use our community facilities.’

St Athernase parish church, Leuchars, Fife KY16 OHQ

 A £40,000 National Churches Trust Cornerstone Grant will help to fund urgent and essential repairs to roof coverings, external walls, leaded and stained glass windows and to treat wet rot at the A Listed church, one of the best preserved Romanesque churches in Scotland.

Rev John Duncan, the Minister at Leuchars St Athernase, said: “It is wonderful news that the National Churches Trust is to give Leuchars: St Athernase such a generous grant and we are pleased that it also acknowledges the importance of St Athernase Church at a local and national level.  I am grateful to the Trustees of the Trust for enabling future generations to appreciate the historical jewel we have in St Athernase Parish Church."

Cornerstone Grants

The National Churches Trust is an independent charity which receives no financial support from Government or church authorities.  National Churches Trust Cornerstone Grants are made possible through the generous support of the Pilgrim Trust, as well as donors and supporters, other trusts and foundations and the many places of worship and individuals who support our programmes.

FULL LIST OF GRANTS

CHESHIRE

St Alban’s church, Offerton, Cheshire SK2 5AG

A £5,000 National Churches Trust Community Grant will help to fund a major upgrade to St Alban’s church in Offerton including a new disabled toilet, disabled access ramp and expanding kitchen facilities.

St. Alban's is a Church of England parish church, consecrated in 1897. It is a red-brick building, able to seat 180 people, and serving a parish of about 18,000. The church was to originally have a tower, but funding was exhausted and so this was not constructed. There is some notable stained glass in the east window. The church is in a good state of repair.

The church welcomes people of all faiths and none and is at the heart of community life. As well as church activities, it hosts community activities aiming to improve community cohesion, equip young people with valuable skills, encourage participation and overcome isolation in older people. The parish has a high proportion of single-parent families.

The National Churches Trust Community Grant will help fund a project including: Installing a disabled washroom and disabled access ramp at the front door (including new front door screen) and expanding additional kitchen facilities to meet modern requirements.

At present there are no disabled washrooms at the church, which is becoming a real problem as more people use the building. The kitchen is cramped and limits what the church can do in terms of catering for events, and presents health and safety issues.

The new facilities will mean that wheelchair users can fully access the church in a safe manner and the enlarged kitchen will mean the church can offer improved catering facilities for increasing numbers of community activities and events.

Tarporley Baptist and Methodist church, Tarporley, Cheshire CW6 OAX

A £5,000 National Churches Trust Community Grant will help to fund a major upgrade to the church including a new disabled toilet, a new entrance including steps and a ramp for easier direct access into the church and creating a flexible space in the main part of the building which can be used by both the congregation and community organisations.

Tarporley Baptist and Methodist church has served the people of Tarporley since 1866, with the church celebrating 150 years of service to the people of Tarporley in 2016.

 The National Churches Trust Community Grant will help fund a project including:

  • Providing a new entrance – including steps and new ramp that will provide easier direct access into the church, including wider central aisle into the main church area.
  • A New disabled toilet, with greater access and new improved kitchen/coffee area.
  • Creating a new level floor and creating a flexible space that can be better utilised by both the congregation and various community and organisations who make use of the facilities.

The village and surrounding area is in the middle of a major expansion, with over 200 new homes being built in Tarporley and the nearby village of Beeston. The means that there will be a growing demand for need for the church and the facilities it provides means the growing population will be ever more in demand.

The project will deliver improved access and facilities for disabled and older members of the congregation and the community. It will also allow for increasing community projects, such as a winter soup kitchen for OAP's that will help improve social inclusion and the setting up a local Foodbank at the church.

CORNWALL

St Mawgan-in-Meneage, Churchtown, Mawgan, Cornwall, TR12 6AD

Grade I Listed

A £10,000 National Churches Trust Repair Grant will help to fund urgent and essential repairs to the roof, tower, and windows of St Mawgan-in-Meneage church.

St Mawgan-in-Meneage is a thirteenth century parish church in the village of Mawgan, situated in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. There has been a religious presence there since the sixth century. ‘Meneage’ comes from the Cornish for ‘monks’ land’.

The roof is of a fifteenth century barrel construction, with carved ribs, purlins, and bosses. The stained glass windows are also of particular note, including thirteenth century lancet windows and square Tudor windows. Among the memorials are a life size effigy of Sir Roger Carmilow, a crusader; and the mausoleum of Sir Richard Vyvyan, Royalist in the Civil War and Master of the Mint.

The National Churches Trust Repair Grant will help fund urgent repairs to the roof slates, which are slipping and risk injury as well as water entry. The slates will be replaced, along with stabilisation and re-pointing of the tower with traditional lime-based materials, and repairs to guttering. These repairs will prevent damp and stabilise the fabric of the building.

 Already the church welcomes many parts of its local community. The church is always open for anyone to find peace and quiet. Schools visit for festivals, plays, and concerts; there are local art exhibitions; a summer fete; and a Daffodil Festival.

The project also includes improvements to internal lighting, a heritage display, and the creation of a Living Churchyard for the whole community, with seating, bird boxes, and trails. Workshops are planned with local artists and theatre groups, and schools will be able to visit more regularly.

St Neot’s church, St Neot, Cornwall, PL14 6NA

Grade I Listed - On Historic England’s ‘Heritage at Risk’ Register

A £10,000 National Churches Trust Repair Grant will help fund urgent repairs to make watertight St Neot church.

The church of St Neot is a Grade I Listed granite building, primarily fifteenth century but with some Norman features. The tower remains from the early medieval church building. Built facing steeply rising hillside, the south side facing into the valley is magnificently battled, in contrast with the plainer north side.

St Neot’s church has some of the finest examples of pre-reformation stained glass windows in the country, with 17 windows of fifteenth and sixteenth century workmanship. Although extensively restored in the nineteenth century by John Hedgeland, at least half the glass is original. The finest window, with most of the original features remaining, depicts Creation and the Fall.

The National Churches Trust Repair Grant will make the roof watertight. Initial architects’ surveys for the project discovered the condition of the roof was worse than previously thought. The tower will be repointed, and water damage to the masonry and timber repaired. Metalwork on the clock and bells also needs attention. Two of the tower parapets will have to be dismantled and rebuilt.

Access to the tower is particularly important, as this is where the disabled access is. The project will ensure that St Neot’s remains accessible to all. The church is already central to the community of St Neot’s, used for bell-ringing training, concerts, choir rehearsals, school visits, and as a very popular wedding venue. It is open all year round, welcoming visitors to this beautiful part of Cornwall with multi-lingual guidebooks. 

EAST SUSSEX

St Mary’s Church, Kemp Town, Sussex BN2 1PR

Grade II* Listed - On Historic England’s At Risk Register’

A £40,000 National Churches Trust Cornerstone Grant will help fund urgent and essential repairs to the roofs, stonework and gutters to help restore the fabric of this Grade II* Listed church and ensure that it continues to thrive as a hub for the local community.

St Mary's Church is a large parish church in central Brighton, within the East Cliff Conservation Area. It was built in 1876–8 to designs by Sir William Emerson PRIBA, architect of the Victoria Memorial in Kolkata.

Listed Grade II*, it is Emerson's most significant building and only church in Britain. It is broadly neo-Gothic in style, but includes Oriental and Classical features.

The exterior is of red brick and pink sandstone with slate roofs, the interior of red and buff brick with Bath stone piers. Oriented to the north, it has a lofty and open interior, including an attractively curved baptistery and unusually broad nave.

The National Churches Trust Cornerstone Grant will help fund urgent and essential repairs to the roofs, brick and stonework, windows and gutters to help restore the fabric of this Grade II* Listed church and ensure that it continues to thrive as a hub for the local community.

The repair project will make a major contribution to the survival and development of St Mary's as an historically important building and an accessible and valued community resource. The windows, freed from their grim polycarbonate shields and restored to their original glory, will once again light up the building, inside and out. Overall, the works will present a new image for the church to local residents and tourists alike. Its dramatically improved appearance will reverse popular impressions that it is closed and derelict and will raise community awareness of the beauty and importance of the building.

St Mary’s welcomes people of all faiths and none for formal worship and private contemplation; for socialization and community activities; for recitals, tuition, and meetings; and as tourists and casual visitors. In 2015 the church hosted over 150 concerts, gigs, singing classes, theatre and choir rehearsals, children's drama workshops, sound and film recordings, and public meetings. In 2016 yoga, mindfulness, and dance fitness classes have been added to the church's calendar. 

The church runs several activities tackling social isolation, including a knitting group and free English conversation classes. In October weekly tea and companionship sessions run in partnership with local charity Time to Talk Befriending and Brighton College will commence. It is also increasing the availability of affordable space for community and arts users at cost-only rates.

ESSEX

St Christopher, Willingale, Essex, CM5 0SJ

Grade II* - On Historic England’s Heritage At Risk Register

A £10,000 National Churches Trust Repair Grant will complete roof repairs at St Christopher’s church in Willingale.

St Christopher’s is a rarity, sharing a churchyard with the older St Andrew’s. St Christopher is the larger and the more frequently used. In the fourteenth century, St Andrew’s was deemed too small, and a new church was simply built on the other side of the churchyard. St Christopher’s chancel and nave are fourteenth century, and the tower and parapet added in the fifteenth century. Built of flint rubble mixed with fragments of Roman brick, the building is Grade II* Listed for its architectural and landscape value.

The National Churches Trust Repair Grant will complete vital roof repairs. Slipping and degraded roof tiles will be replaced with new clay tiles, ensuring the building is weather-proof. The rotting timber structure will be made safe, and the tree roots blocking some drains will be removed. Combined with exterior masonry restoration from 2014, St Christopher’s will be able to be removed from Historic England’s Heritage At Risk Register.

St Christopher’s has been successful in diversifying the use of the church in recent years. The seventeenth century historic bells were restored to be rung properly for the first time in fifty years in 2012, fuelling local interest. A new social group is flourishing, and invites visiting bands of bell ringers. The recent installation of toilets and a kitchen has allowed the building to be opened to further community use, creating a church full of brightness, vibrancy, and warmth.

The church hosts talks for the University of the Third Age, concerts, and a flower festival; May Day has become a central day in the village calendar, with hand bell ringing and may pole dancing. The shared churchyard of St Christopher and St Andrew is a key feature on the Essex Way, attracting many passing visitors. The vital roof repairs will allow these diverse uses to continue, and the church to grow at the heart of its community.

ISLE OF WIGHT

Newport Minster, St Thomas's Square, High Street, Newport, Isle of Wight, PO30 1SG

Grade I Listed

A £10,000 National Churches Trust Repair Grant will help to fund urgent and essential repairs to the stunning Grade I Listed church, the building of which was originally funded by Queen Victoria.

The Minster Church of Sts Thomas, or Newport Minster, is recognised as the main Anglican church on the Isle of Wight. Honouring its importance, the church was designated a Minster in 2008. Originally dedicated to Thomas Beckett, this was dropped when he was declared a traitor, and the dedication assumed to be to Thomas the Apostle. The current church is dedicated to both Saints Thomas.

Newport Minster was rebuilt in 1854 in the Victorian High Gothic style on the footprint of the original mediaeval church. Queen Victoria’s beloved home on the Isle of Wight, Osborne House, gave her a strong connection to the church. She was a major benefactor of the project, and Prince Albert laid the foundation stone.

Queen Victoria commissioned a marble memorial by Baron Carlo Marochetti to Princess Elizabeth, daughter of King Charles I, who died after being taken to Carisbrooke Castle after her father’s execution and is buried under the high altar.

The National Churches Trust Repair Grant will enable the fifth phase of a major eight phase restoration programme agreed with Historic England in 2006 to be completed. It involves the repair of the deteriorating Caen stonework, re-slating and roofs on the east and south east corner of the church, and urgent repair of the decaying stone mullions around the east window. Internally, a new welcome area will be created inside the west door, with heritage interpretation boards.

In the centre of Newport, Newport Minster is used regularly by a number of groups, including bell ringers, schools, the Isle of Wight Jazz Festival, Writers Circle, and Musical Competition. It has the largest seating capacity on the island. A café is open in the south aisle, welcoming tourists and community groups alike six days a week with coffee and homemade food.

The cleaner, more welcoming façade and interior, and restoration of prominent architectural features, will help Newport Minster to remain central to the island community. It will complete one more step on the long but rewarding journey to complete their decade-long project.

KENT

St Mary the Virgin, Sutton Valence, Kent, ME17 3AW

Grade II Listed

A £10,000 National Churches Trust Community Grant will help to fund a major upgrade to St Mary the Virgin church in Sutton Valence including a new disabled toilet, disabled access and new expanded kitchen facilities.

St. Mary the Virgin is the only church serving the community of Sutton Valence. Mentioned in the Doomsday book, it was originally built in the thirteenth century of Kentish rag-stone. By 1825, the church was demolished and rebuilt in the original footstep of the earlier church. Within this building the sixteenth century Lambe chapel has been preserved. Part of the fourteenth century altarpiece, made from stones brought from Caen, is on display at the Victoria and Albert Museum.

The church is a Grade II Listed building in the centre of the village. It is open daily from 10 am until dusk, welcoming visitors including people researching their family history, archivists, school visits, concert-goers, and hikers on the Greensand Way. It invites people of all faiths to join its Sunday services. 

The National Churches Trust Community Grant will help fund a major upgrade of the facilities available at St Mary the Virgin. This includes: a disabled toilet with baby changing facilities, a new kitchen area to replace the old and inadequate current facilities, social space, a ramp and wheelchair access, and new drainage. 

There is currently no toilet, and providing one means that longer and more varied events can be run. The new facilities will mean that wheelchair users can fully access the church in a safe manner, particularly local care home residents who wish to attend services.

The enlarged kitchen will mean the church can offer improved catering facilities for community events. In particular, the village has urgent need for a Mother and Baby Group. The kitchen and social space will provide this. There are also plans for coffee mornings throughout the week.

LINCOLNSHIRE

St Bartholomew’s church, Ingoldsby, Lincolnshire NG33 4EJ

Grade I Listed - On Historic England’s ‘Heritage At Risk’ Register

A £5,000 National Churches Trust Community Grant will help to fund a major upgrade to install much needed catering facilities at Grade I Listed St Bartholomew’s church in Ingoldsby.

St Bartholomew's dates from the late Norman period, but is mostly of 14th and 15th century construction. The north aisle columns are 12th century with waterleaf capitals. The south aisle contains fragments of a mediaeval Coronation of the Virgin window, and both north and south doors are 15th century with ogee carving.

The nave roof, with a mediaeval carved bird in a tree above the chancel arch, dates from the 16th century, as does the tower. Two fine 17th century chairs stand in the choir. The south aisle exhibits graffiti dating to 1710. The chancel was largely rebuilt in the mid-19th century and its pews removed, enabling flexible use of its space.

The National Churches Trust Community Grant will help to fund a project to install new facilities including a kitchen/servery for light refreshments, to include a sink unit, water supply, boiler, drainage, suitable cupboards and a serving surface and a wheelchair-accessible lavatory.

The new facilities will develop new uses for the church and safeguard it for the future. Preserving it as an active centre for community life will provide older residents with a direct link to their past, reducing isolation and promoting mobility, and give younger people the chance to form community roots and a sense of local identity. Possible new uses include an Amnesty International group, a local singing group and musical events and Ropsley WI and Grantham U3A meetings.

LIVERPOOL AND MERSEYSIDE

Holy Trinity church, Manchester Road, Southport, PR9 OTE

Grade II* Listed - On Historic England’s ‘Heritage At Risk’ Register

A £20,000 National Churches Trust Repair and Community Grant will help to secure the future of Holy Trinity church in Southport with urgently needed repairs and new visitor facilities.

Holy Trinity is a Grade II* Listed Edwardian Gothic Revival church, built between 1904 and 1914 to cathedral-like proportions. Designed by the Scottish architect Huon Matear, also known for the Neo-Classical façade of the Liverpool Cotton Exchange, its red brick facing and Westmoreland slate roofing is topped with gables and parapets of Portland stone.

Many of the elaborate internal decorative features are by the Arts and Crafts artists of the Bromsgrove Guild. These include an oak and marble chancel screen; an elaborately carved reredos, or altar screen; a black and white marble font.

The National Churches Trust Repair and Community Grant will help to fund a project to guarantee the integrity of one of Southport’s most iconic buildings. On Historic England’s ‘Heritage At Risk’ Register since August 2014, urgent repairs are needed to the high level stone work and crumbling masonry on parapets, buttresses, and windows, which have already necessitated the closure of some paths around the building.

The acoustics of the building have enabled Holy Trinity’s development as a music venue. With an active cathedral standard choir, Holy Trinity also hosts touring orchestras, visiting choirs, and recitals. The goal is to create a community venue with a thriving performing arts programme, for music, choral works, and theatre. To this end, the project will add toilets and a kitchen to improve the welcome that Holy Trinity offers to visitors, and extend its community use locally and regionally.

 LONDON

St Mary and Holy Trinity, Bow, London E3 3AH

Grade II* Listed - On Historic England’s ‘Heritage At Risk’ Register 

 

A £20,000 National Churches Trust Repair Grant will help to fund an urgent project to make St Mary and Holy Trinity in Bow watertight, secure its crumbling timber clock tower and cupola, and remove it from Historic England’s ‘Heritage At Risk’ Register.

St Mary and Holy Trinity was founded in 1311 by the Bishop of London. It has evolved throughout its history, with much of the building dating from the 1400s; a painted ceiling added to the chancel in the sixteenth century; and restorations in the 1700s and 1800s.

In its recent history, St Mary and Holy Trinity survived World War Two with the turbulence of that time etched in its walls. In 1941, the last major bombing raid of the Blitz, the tower and west end were badly damaged. There was a conscious decision to complete the 1950s reconstruction work in contrasting brickwork. With its distinctive timber clock tower and cupola, St Mary and Holy Trinity is a graphic memorial to the war damage inflicted on the East End.

The National Churches Trust Repair Grant will help to fund a £319,000 project that has been deemed urgent since 2009. It will make the church watertight, ending damage to the historic fabric of the church and making it more welcoming to the public. The rotting timber of the church tower will be repaired, the crumbling mediaeval masonry repointed, and below-ground drainage improved. The vital importance of these repairs are highlighted by the fact that, without this repair work, the condition of the tower would begin to represent a health and safety risk and the church would have had to have been closed to the public.

Securing the fabric of the church enables St Mary and Holy Trinity to welcome visitors. A series of heritage activities will accompany the repairs, including in a newly heritage-focussed area that invites people to ‘walk through history’. The comfortable damp-free environment will provide a far more attractive welcome to all users, old and new.

NORFOLK

St Mary the Virgin, Barningham Winter, Norfolk, NR11 7HY

 Grade II* Listed

A £10,000 National Churches Trust Repair Grant will help fund urgent repairs to the roof and masonry of Grade II* Listed St Mary the Virgin, Barningham Winter.

St. Mary the Virgin, Barningham Winter is a most unusual and much loved parish church. It is Grade II* listed and is built of flint and lime mortar with limestone quoins and dressings. The church stands in the grounds of Barningham Hall and is partly ruined. The church is an important romantic element of the Grade II registered parkland of Barningham Hall designed by the eminent landscape architect Humphry Repton.

The National Churches Trust Repair Grant will help fund an urgent repair project to ensure that the church remains watertight and will prevent further deterioration of the partially ruined tower.

As part of the repair project, the church plans to set up a research team aided by a professional historian, to investigate the history of the church, its former village and its place in the listed parkland. This work will be carried out by local people and will include small projects to involve the local school. This will help encourage more visits to this special place, improve the visitor experience and increase awareness of the church in the community.

 St Mary the Virgin, Gissing, Norfolk NR11 7HY

Grade I Listed - On Historic England’s ‘Heritage at Risk’ Register

A £5,000 National Churches Trust Repair Grant will help fund repairs to the structure and roofs of Grade I listed St Mary the Virgin, Gissing which is on Historic England’s ‘Heritage at Risk’ Register.

St Mary the Virgin, Gissing, is a Grade I listed building, built most likely around 1000AD and with a flint round tower dating back to pre-conquest times. The main interior feature is the splendid 15th century double-hammer beam roof with rows of angels with outstretched wings, which has featured recently in a publication called 'the Angel Roofs of East Anglia' by Michael Rimmer. St Mary's is listed as one of only four churches in the region and one of only 32 in the entire country to feature this particularly renowned type of narrow hammer-beam angel roof and a 15th century north porch.

The National Churches Trust Repair Grant will help fund urgent repairs to the walls and lead roofs to ensure a sound and watertight building. Improved rainwater goods and drainage will protect the interior monuments and decorations of the church itself. The building will then be able to be used to its fulfil its potential by the congregation and community.  The hope is that the work to the church will allow it to be removed from Historic England’s ‘At Risk Register’.

St Margaret, Topcroft, Norfolk NR35 2BH

Grade II* Listed

A £10,000 National Churches Trust Community Grant will help fund an extension including a disabled toilet, kitchen and storage space at Grade II* Listed St Margaret, Topcroft. The church also receives a £2,000 National Churches Trust micro-grant in partnership with the Cinnamon Network to set up a Cinnamon Network recognised social action project to help local people.

St Margaret is thought to date back to the 11th or 12th century with alterations and additions in the 15th, 18th and 19th centuries. The church consists of a round west tower with octagonal upper stages, nave, fine red brick chancel, south aisle and south entry porch. The church is set in a generously sized churchyard and approached from the east.

The National Churches Trust Community Grant will help fund the building of an extension which will include a disabled toilet, kitchen and storage space.

Topcroft has no public house and much of the village life revolves around the church. The church is used for various festivals including art and flower festivals and is a key focus for the annual open gardens event. Its use will be significantly expanded when the extension incorporating disabled toilets and kitchen is built. It will enable the church to host concerts, talks, demonstrations, art and craft classes for the benefit of the local church people, the local and extended community and the wider group of parishes.

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

OXFORDSHIRE

St Margaret of Antioch, Hinton Waldrist, Oxfordshire, SN7 8SA

Grade II* Listed On Historic England’s  Heritage At Risk Register

A £10,000 National Churches Trust Repair Grant will help to fund urgent repairs to make the roof watertight and enable it to be opened up for community use. The church features in a set of Victorian photographs whose secrets were uncovered by Queen guitarist Brian May.

An early church on this site was mentioned in the Domesday Book. The earliest part of the current building are the thirteenth century nave, chancel, and western tower; the church has stood largely unchanged for 700 years. The tower houses six bells, some dating from 1709, which are regularly rung for services and by visiting ringers.

A window in the south transept is dedicated to the memory of Airey Neave, who was the local MP and lived in Hinton Waldrist before his assassination in 1979. Wall tablets dating from 1701 commemorate the Loder family who owned the manor for over 250 years. 

The Queen guitarist Brian May has been closely associated with Hinton Waldrist, through his research into the stereoscopic imagery of the Victorian photographer TR Williams who immortalised the village as a snapshot of a vanishing way of life in the 1850s.

The National Churches Trust’s Repair Grant will help fund urgent and vital repairs to secure the roof and walls. The stone slate roof will be renewed, woodwork repaired, and masonry repointed. The work means the church will be safe enough to remove from the Historic England Heritage At Risk Register. Securing the fabric of the building will enable continued worship and allow the church to become a welcoming focal point for the community.

The tiny rural community of 240 people have already managed to secure nearly £400,000, and anticipate increased interest in and use of their historic building. A local historian has created a unique timeline recording the family histories for those from the village who were killed in both world wars, and future development will create a permanent home for the exhibition.

SHROPSHIRE

St John the Baptist, Kenley, Shropshire, SN7 8SA

Grade II* Listed

A £10,000 National Churches Trust Repair Grant will help to fund urgent repairs to make the roof watertight and enable it to be opened up for community use.

St John the Baptist church, Kenley, is an intimate unspoilt building in a picturesque situation.

The originally medieval church of St John the Baptist was restored in the nineteenth century. A simple single cell church, its most striking feature is the unusual low tower, whose pyramid roof starts below the ridge of the nave roof. Inside, there is a fine Jacobian canopied pulpit and readers’ desk below an elegant chancel roofed with quatrefoils.

The National Churches Trust Repair Grant will address urgent issues with water ingress and damp, and enable plans for greater community usage to be realised. An inspection of the state of the building stressed the urgent need for repairs as the roof was ‘in imminent danger of falling off’. The tiles and gutters will be replaced, drainage repaired, and the towers and wall repointed.

St John the Baptist – previously prone to cold and damp – will be much more welcoming and aims to create a community space. The only other venue in the area is of limited capacity. Consultations with members of the local people uncovered a desire for the church to available for a range of activities beyond worship.

SOMERSET

St Peter’s church, Combwich, Somerset, TA5 2QR

Grade II Listed - On Historic England’s ‘Heritage at Risk Register.

A £6,000 National Churches Trust Repair Grant will help to fund urgent repairs to the spire of Grade II listed St Peter’s church, Combwich and enable the church, which is currently on Historic England’s ‘Heritage at Risk Register’, to reopen.

Built in 1870 by J Knowles for Susanna Lewes Jeffery, St Peter’s has an elaborate porch with an octagonal upper stage, topped with a ribbed stone spire and clock. Inside, the 19th century fittings are virtually complete and include pews, choir stalls, altar rails, tub font and oil lamps on brackets. There is also an elaborate semi-circular stone pulpit with detached Purbeck shafts, and stained glass in the West window and chancel.

The National Churches Trust Repair Grant will help fund a project torepair the spire. There are major problems both at the very top of the spire, and at the very bottom. The completion of the work will enable the church to reopen after several years of closure on health and safety grounds and the hope is that this repair will remove the building from Historic England’s’ Heritage at Risk Register’.

St Michael the Archangel’s church, Dundry, Somerset, BS41 8LH

Grade I Listed - On Historic England’s ‘Heritage at Risk Register.

A £15,000 National Churches Trust Repair Grant will help to fund  urgent roof repairs to Grade I Listed St Michael the Archangel’s church in Dundry, which is currently on Historic England’s ‘Heritage at Risk Register’.

Dundry church stands in the centre of the village, on a hill some 800 feet high on the south western edge of Bristol. Its 15th century tower 100ft tall is a prominent landmark visible from many parts of the city. The nave, north and south aisles date from 1861 by the architect G.B. Gabriel. The church is Grade I listed with several 13th century features making it of national, historic and architectural importance.

The interior of the church comprises a 3 bay arcade with round piers, there is a 4th similar bay between the chancel and chapel. The chancel has a timber wagon roof, the tower has fluted vault springers and a very deep wave moulded arch. There are marble tablets within the church and there is a 3m high medieval churchyard cross on an octagonal base - a scheduled ancient monument.

The National Churches Trust Repair Grant will help to fund a project to carry out urgent work to the north and south aisle roofs. The work was found to be needed following a comprehensive roof report conducted in January 2015. This will be a long term repair strategy to remedy the problems through sensitive repair works and improvement of the valley roof details. Work will also entail repairs internally to the ceilings that are defective and require immediate attention.

St Michael the Archangel’s is currently closed. The repairs will allow the church to reopen and ensure the church is removed from Historic England’s Heritage’ At Risk Register’ and will save the building from irreversible damage and safeguard its future.

Holy Cross Church, Middlezoy, Somerset, TA4 ONZ

Grade I Listed 

A £10,000 National Churches Trust Repair Grant will help to fund urgent roof repairs to Grade I Listed Holy Cross church in Middlezoy.

Holy Cross church is an excellent example of a mediaeval church with parts dating back to the 12th and 13th centuries and significant 15th and early 16th century work including the roofs, tower, rood screen and bench ends. Historically the building is important for its connection with the Monmouth Rebellion and the Battle of Sedgemoor in 1685 (the last battle fought on English soil). The church was used as a base by the King's side, who were camped nearby and the nave contains the grave of a French nobleman, Chevalier Louis de Misiers, who died fighting for King James II (the only named grave of the battle). As a result the church is included in the Monmouth Trail.

The National Churches Trust Repair Grant will help fund a project to carry our urgent roof repairs.The Nave roof covering will be replaced, the nave ceiling plaster renewed and overhauled and roof and ceiling structures repaired, with new insulation added. The work will mean that the building will be available for public worship and community use for the foreseeable future.

St Martin’s church, North Perrott, Somerset, TA18 7SJ

Grade I Listed - On Historic England’s ‘Heritage at Risk Register.

A £10,000 National Churches Trust Repair Grant will help to fund urgent repairs to the roof of Grade I listed St Martin’s church, North Perrott, which is currently on Historic England’s ‘Heritage at Risk Register’.

St Martin’s church has Saxon origins and is a good example of the Perpendicular style of English church architecture. It is dedicated to St. Martin and is of cruciform structure with a tower, supported by four arches, and containing a clock with Westminster chimes, and six bells, which were completely restored and retuned in 2009. The church has been a place of worship since Norman times and was probably rebuilt by Henry Daubeney, Earl of Bridgwater towards the end of the 16th century. The tower itself is of 12th century origin, around the time when newly crowned William the Conqueror granted the ten hides of Perret to Robert St Claire. The church is on a rise which gives fine views over the valley of the River Parrett. It sits beautifully in its ancient and agricultural setting on the edge of established parkland.

The building is currently used beyond worship for a variety of activities. It is a popular venue for Summer Concerts, Garden Days, Christmas Concerts, Art and Craft Exhibitions, Flower Festivals, Opera Singers, Talks on Art and other topics, Young Musicians Concerts - both local and from afar and Choirs and Nativity Plays. It is also used for meetings and tea parties for visiting Bell ringers.

A £10,000 National Churches Trust Repair Grant will help fund essential and urgent repairs to the roof. In 2011-12 ten thefts of lead left the roof exposed to the rafters. For five years these surfaces have been covered with tarpaulin which deteriorate in bad weather conditions allowing water to penetrate causing damage to the interior.  The repair work will re-cover the nave north and south transept, organ chamber and stair turret roofs.

Once the works are complete, St Martin’s will be a  dry and safe building for parishioners, the wider community and local schools to attend regular and special services, concerts, talks and other events and save a Grade I listed building.

WEST MIDLANDS

St Thomas and St Luke church, High Street, Dudley, DY1 1QD

Grade II* Listed - On Historic England’s ‘Heritage At Risk’ Register

A £20,000 National Churches Trust Repair Grant will help to fund urgent repairs to stonework and windows.

Known fondly as Top Church, due to its position on the high street on the crest of a watershed, St Thomas and St Luke is a local landmark. An earlier mediaeval church was replaced in the nineteenth century when it was felt to no longer meet the needs of the growing populations of the industrial revolution.

The present church, a Grade II* Listed Regency Gothic building designed by the architect William Brooks, was built in the 1810s. Its spire, which features in JMW Turner’s watercolour ‘Dudley, Worcestershire’, rises to 175 feet, and is visible for miles around. The cast iron pillars, roof members, and window tracery reflect Dudley’s proud industrial heritage.

St Thomas and St Luke is on Historic England’s ‘Heritage At Risk’ register. Of particular note is the east window, designed by Joseph Backler in 1810, which depicts the Ascension of Christ. It also features on the Church of England’s list of 100 art treasures in English churches that are at risk. 

The National Churches Trust Repair Grant will help to fund a project to guarantee the integrity of one of Dudley’s most iconic buildings. Repairs to high level stonework and corroding cast iron window frames will secure the fabric of the building. Importantly for the future maintenance of the church, the project will ensure high level access by improving ladders and walkways for future maintenance. These essential works will pave the way to more extensive repairs in the future.

Glazed entrance doors will make the building much more welcoming and attractive, and ensure that the historic interior and painted east window are visible to the public. Already hosting events for the Black Country Festival and civic events, and having recently relaunched its Friends group, St Thomas and St Luke is aiming to focus on its heritage to increase awareness of this historic church.

WORCESTERSHIRE

St Bartholomew’s church, Bayton, Worcestershire DY14 9LP

Grade II* Listed - On Historic England’s ‘Heritage At Risk’ Register

A £10,000 National Churches Trust Repair Grant will help to fund a comprehensive repair and improvement scheme at Grade II* Listed St Bartholomew’s church in Bayton, including a complete re-roofing of the church  and improving drainage and installing a new floor to combat chronic damp problems.

St Bartholomew’s church in Bayton has one of the loveliest settings in Worcestershire with a view of an unspoilt panorama stretching down to the Rhea Valley and then up to the Clee Hills and the Welsh Hills beyond.  It dates from the mid-12th Century. It was extensively restored in 1818 and again in 1905 when the chancel was entirely rebuilt.  Many important features remain, including a fine Norman font.

The church is as pleasing inside as is the prospect outside with a feeling of space, an impressive timber roof, an open­work chancel screen and a delightful East window depicting the Risen Christ in Glory from whom rays of light fall upon the church itself. 

The National Churches Trust Repair Grant will help fund urgent repair work to the roof, masonry, windows and rainwater goods of St Bartholmew’s church  to make the building wind and watertight. The drainage and new floor will eliminate chronic damp. The project will secure the removal of the church from Historic England’s ‘Heritage At Risk Register’ and allow for greater use by school, for concerts and heritage events.

St Leonard’s church, Cotheridge, Warwickshire WR6 5LZ

Grade II* Listed

A £10,000 National Churches Trust Community Grant will help to fund much-needed toilet and kitchen facilities at Grade II* Listed St Leonard’s church in Cotheridge, the only community building in the village. 

St. Leonard's Church is a delightful and intriguing church situated on the A44 west of Worcester. A small, 12th-century church located in the scattered village of Cotheridge in Worcestershire, it lies upon the pilgrimage route to Wales from Worcester. It stands not far from the manor house, Cotheridge Court. The church boasts an ancient, wooden tower. The main part of the church, the nave, has a plastered ceiling with its beams remaining hidden though some ceiling beams in the chancel are visible.

The National Churches Trust Community Grant will help fund aproject to install kitchen and toilet facilities within the existing vestry (former chapel) together with an external ramp to facilitate wheel chair access.

St Leonard's church is the only community building in Cotheridge and the installation of a kitchen and toilet will allow for wider use of the building.  This is likely to include coffee mornings, clubs and societies, and musical events. In addition, since 2012, the South Worcestershire Development Plan has been finalised and this includes proposals to construct in excess of 2,000 new residential units on the western edge of Worcester and within a couple of miles of Cotheridge. Demand for use of the building, both for religious and secular purposes, will grow as that development materialises and the new facilities are expected to be much in demand as the local population increases.

YORKSHIRE

Saltaire United Reformed church, Saltaire, Yorkshire BD18 3LF

Grade I Listed

A £10,000 National Churches Trust Community Grant will help to fund the installation of new toilets and revamp the kitchen to allow the Grade I Listed church to better serve visitors and the local 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 help local people.

Saltaire United Reformed church, built by Sir Titus Salt in 1859, is a unique example of Italianate religious architecture. It boasts many architecturally and historically important features and has been described as a classic “Cathedral of Congregationalism”. Sir Titus commissioned architects Lockwood and Mawson to design the building, as they had designed a number of other important Italianate buildings in Bradford City centre. Fittingly, the Mausoleum built onto the church contains the remains of Sir Titus Salt himself. The Grade I Listed church is a key part of Saltaire, a UNESCO World Heritage model village.

The National Churches Trust Community Grant will help to fund the refurbishment of the existing toilets to provide a disabled toilet, new male and female toilets and the re-siting of the kitchen so it can serve both function rooms of the church.

The church currently has around 3,500 school children visit the church each year and around 12,000 adults in tour groups or private visits to the World Heritage Village and the new facilities will be of benefit to them.  They will also allow the church’s Minister, Revd Caroline Andrews, to develop her vision for the church to become a 'hub' for all kinds of community groups, and for community partnerships that will make use of the rooms/cafe in the undercroft of the church. She has also been working closely with Shipley College, in putting together a number of short courses that may be delivered in the near future, thus enabling the church to become a centre for education, as well as offering a sacred space.

 

WALES

Blaenau Gwent 

St George’s church, Tredegar, Blaenau Gwent NP22 3DU

Grade II Listed

St George’s church, Tredegar, a landmark in the town, receives a £40,000 National Churches Trust Cornerstone Grant to help fund urgent and essential repairs including restoration of the tower structure, a new tower roof and repairs to roof joists. The church is a welcoming, friendly Parish Church that has served the people of Tredegar since 1836. With its distinctive architecture and imposing tower, St George's has always been a landmark of the town.

St George's Church was constructed between 1835-6 to the design of John Jenkins of London, to serve the rapidly growing ironworks town. The building is Grade II Listed and the boundary walls, gates and railing are listed separately, also Grade II. The building is of classical design with Neo-Norman detailing. The nave comprises seven bays, with a simple flat ribbed ceiling and round headed side windows linked externally by a continuous hood mould. The short lower chancel is separated internally from the nave by a wide and elaborately decorated Neo-Norman chancel arch. A gallery along either side of the nave is supported on iron columns, which have scalloped capitals. The gallery timber fronts have simple repeated decoration with a painted finish. The western end of the nave has been altered with a first floor hall constructed in the end two bays.

The National Churches Trust  Cornerstone Grant will help to fund a major repair project includingrestoration of the tower structure, a new tower roof, repair to roof joists and repair parapet, installation of a lift and disabled ramped access to church and disabled toilet at West end of church.

Glamorgan

Saron Independent Congregational Chapel, Treoes, Glamorgan, Wales

Saron Independent Congregational Chapel, Treoes, receives a £10,000 National Churches Trust Repair Grant to complete a project to help to fund urgent repairs to the roof and secure the future of the chapel as a place of worship and community hub and safeguard its fine wooden interior.

Saron was originally an agricultural barn, which from 1831 onwards was used for religious services, as a wave of religious fervour based on the Non-Conformist movement took hold and swept through Welsh-speaking rural communities.

The present day Chapel, which is a Grade II Listed building, dates back to 1841 and was established by the Rev D. Griffiths at a cost of £240. At the time the Rev Griffiths was the Minister for Bethlehem Chapel in Llanharan.

The opening of Saron Chapel was an instant success – and he went onto to establish a third chapel at Hebron in Coychurch. Both Bethlehem and Hebron are now closed and only Saron remains as a functioning place of worship. As such, it has an important role to play in the story of Non-Conformist worship in South Wales.

The National Churches Trust Repair Grant will help fund a project to carry out urgent repairs to the roof and the outer fabric of the chapel. This will make it weather-proof and eliminate the problem of damp. Other works include upgrading lighting & heating. The current state of the building is putting the fine wooden interior at severe risk.

Repairs to the Chapel will not only secure its future as a place of worship for the local community, but it will also increase its use for services such as Weddings, Funerals and Christenings. There are also plans to increase the number of other events, such as musical concerts and local history talks in the Chapel.  In future, restoration of the adjoining Vestry is planned and the two buildings will then form a 'Heritage Hub' for the local community – a place to swap stories, skills and knowledge.

Pembrokeshire

St Mary, Carew Cheriton, Tenby, SA68 0TX

A £10,000 National Churches Trust Repair Grant will help to fund urgent repairs to St Mary’s church, Carew, to make the roof watertight and enable it to be opened up for community use.

St Mary’s Carew is a historic Grade I Listed building, listed as an exceptionally fine and well-preserved medieval church. First recorded in 1203 as a simple two-cell church, it has been added to and altered to become a living record of eight hundred years of history. The oldest surviving parts are the ornamental chancel and trancept arches decorated with flowers. The nave, aisles, and porch are fifteenth century additions; the striking tower, one of the few in Pembrokeshire with angle buttresses, was constructed around 1500.

The paving within the sanctuary is of mediaeval tiles, many of which are believed to have been taken from Carew Castle. The vestry was a Carew family chapel and has a pointed stone vault. The west window is a Crimean memorial from 1857, replacing an original Perpendicular window.

The National Churches Trust Repair Grant will help to complete a project to repair the failing fabric and structure of the church. The tower urgently needs new guttering, which will remove the need for further work for some time. Under pew heating will be installed, and six pews will be removed to create a refreshment and welcome area.

St Mary’s has links with the thirteenth century Carew Castle, and is planning a heritage walk in partnership with them. There are also links to the former RAF base at Carew Cheriton, with fifteen World War Two war graves in the churchyard.

St Mary’s, open dawn until dusk every day of the year, is a much loved part of the community and attracts many visitors, especially during the summer months. Concerts are held throughout the year. A local choir recorded a CD in church, benefiting from the excellent acoustics. The improvement works will enable St Mary’s to expand what it can offer to the community and to visitors in a safe and comfortable environment.

SCOTLAND

St Athernase, Leuchars, Fife KY16 OHQ

Grade A Listed

A £40,000 National Churches Trust Cornerstone Grant will help to fund urgent and essential repairs to roof coverings, external walls, leaded and stained glass windows and to treat wet rot at the A Listed church.

St Athernase church, Leuchars, is considered to be one of thebest preserved Romanesque parish churches in Scotland. The church has been a place of continuous Christian worship for nine hundred years and is the focal point of the conservation area of Leuchars.

Notable memorials are to Robert Carnegie, ambassador for Mary of Guise and her daughter, Mary Queen of Scots. He died in 1565 in Leuchars castle. Also commemorated is Sir William Bruce who began the building of Earlshall castle nearby. His beautifully carved memorial stone bears both Latin and Scots inscriptions. Having fought at Flodden in his youth, he died aged 98 in 1584.

The National Churches Trust Cornerstone Grant is an important piece of funding needed by St Athernase church to allow it to start a major conservation and renovation project of the A-listed Romanesque church. Work includes the replacement and renewal of roof coverings; repointing of external walls; introduction of below ground drainage to eradicate rising and lateral damp; the overhaul of leaded and stained glass windows and of existing roof drainage and the treatment of wet rot.

Once the repair project is complete, the church will be able to hold a range of community activities including Guild meetings, choirs, Sunday School, and coffee mornings which currently have to take place in another building adjacent to the church.

In addition local people will have a place of heritage to explore and to bring visitors, and a place to develop new interests and skills themselves. Schoolchildren will be able to explore history, community and people in a local context. Walkers and cyclists on the Fife Coastal path and the Pilgrims' Trail will have a place of interest for rest. Visitors to North East Fife will have an additional source of history and heritage to explore, enhancing their experience of the region.

 

CHANNEL ISLANDS

Sark Methodist Church, Sark, Channel Islands GY10 1SF

A £10,000 National Churches Trust Community Grant will help to fund a major project to build a new extension, to be called ‘The Centre’,  to allow the church to expand its community work.

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.

Sark Methodist church was originally built in 1796, known as Ebenezer Chapel, but was moved and rebuilt in 1926 because the landowner found the 200 strong congregation’s singing too loud! He donated a piece of land just under a mile further away and this is where the church is currently situated. It has numbered foundation stones around the walls corresponding to the donations from other Channel Islands which are listed on a plaque inside the building. It is the oldest chapel in the local Methodist Circuit.

The National Churches Trust Community Grant will help fund a new  extension, to be called ‘The Centre’ which will provide a modern facility with disabled access, toilets (child sized, disabled/family and adults), an emergency room with separate outside access, a multi-purpose meeting space, kitchen, youth room and flexible upstairs meeting room.

Over the years Sark Methodist church has been a haven for those in need and provides Christian service through partnering the community. The new modern Centre will allow it to expand its key community work which currently includes children's clubs, a youth club, family activities and emergency help to very vulnerable people. The church works ecumenically with the local Anglican Church who have no meeting or community facilities, putting on joint activities and special events.

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