English Heritage (EH) and the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) have announced last week funding of just under £7 million to help restore 68 historic Grade II listed places of worship in England. Places of worship from a range of faiths and denominations are set to benefit from the organisations’ joint Repair Grants for Places of Worship programme.
In total this year, £22.7million of funding has been made available to 222 of England’s Grade I, II* and II listed places of worship. Dr Simon Thurley, Chief Executive of English Heritage, said, “In this country we are fortunate enough to have some of the most beautiful and historic places of worship in the world. “Since the Repair Grants for Places of Worship scheme began in 2002, more than £179m in essential repair grants has been awarded to more than 1,900 projects, to help repair, renovate and restore historic places of worship around England. It is the largest single funding source for work of this kind and we are delighted to be able to support local communities and congregations who are doing all they can to secure a future for these treasured buildings.”
Carole Souter, Chief Executive of HLF, said: “Churches are often the lifeblood of the communities they serve and an important hub for local activities. Without continued investment for essential maintenance and repair work, these precious buildings would be less likely to survive or be fit for purpose. The Heritage Lottery Fund and English Heritage have long been working together to protect places of worship and today’s announcement of £7million will make a huge difference to the future of 68 beautiful buildings.”
Grants totalling £510,000 have gone to five churches in the area of London, including £154,000 to St Margarets, Leytonstone, Waltham Forest. This large brick late gothic church was built in 1892 by the architects Newman and Jacques in the late Victorian High Anglican tradition. It was constructed to serve the expanding suburban population of Leyton. The church contains a notable collection of baroque oil paintings including those after Murillo and Guido Reni. There is also a series of paintings of the Stations of the Cross by a local artist, A F Prynne. The first phase of repairs to the south aisle roof were completed last year with grant of £45,000. This grant is for a second phase of repairs to the roofs of the chancel, Lady Chapel, bell tower, and spire following a recent out break of dry rot.
Another £130 000 was granted to help with urgent repairs needed at the Church of St Peter and St Paul in Skendleby, near Spilsby in Lincolnshire. The building suffers from damp due to rising ground water and roof leaks, which are damaging and decaying internal plaster and timbers. The church originally dates back to the 13th century and its appearance today owes much to a significant restoration by Sir George Gilbert Scott, one of the most prominent architects of the Victorian age, which was carried out in 1875.
Julia Brocklehurst, Warden at the Church of St Peter and St Paul, said: “We welcome the grant from English Heritage and the Heritage Lottery Heritage Fund with open arms. The church community has been trying to raise money to help for repairs over the last 10 years, and the announcement of the grant today is a great boost for us.
“The roof in particular is in bad shape, and when it rains the congregation plays musical chairs to avoid the drops of water. But now with this grant we can extend the important services that we provide for the community.”
Source: News Distribution Service