The splendid Perpendicular Gothic interior of St Bartholomew’s, Tong, attracts thousands of heritage visitors each year, including for guided tours. Tong’s connection to Dickens brings in many more visitors - the churchyard is supposed to the burial place of Little Nell from ‘The Old Curiosity Shop’. The epitaph on one of the tombs in the churchyard is thought to have been written by Shakespeare.
St Bartholomew’s is undertaking a major project for long term sustainability, Tong’s ‘Twenty Twenty Vision’. The aim is to restore the fabric of the church, and promote its heritage potential. Most of the funds raised already have gone towards urgent roof and lead repairs. The National Churches Trust’s Project Development Grant will be used to develop final plans to install toilets and a servery.