Medieval Churches in England receive funding for repairs

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 Several medieval churches in England have received funding the Heritage Lottery Fund and English Heritage as part of their joint Repair Grants for Places of Worship program. In an announcement made earlier this month, over 153 Grade I and II listed places of worship across England were granted £15.7 million to support urgent repair work.

The churches include St Peter’s, Wilburton, in the Diocese of Ely, which has a tower dating from the 13th century. It has been offered at grant of £105,000 towards repairs to the tower spire, which was last repaired in 1903, as well as timber repairs to the spire and louvres, reglazing and masonry repairs to the tower parapets and stairs.

Reverend Fiona Brampton of St Peter’s, Wilburton said, “We are delighted that English Heritage and the Heritage Lottery Fund have been able to help us. Our church is not only a beautiful treasure, but also a focal point for the community here in Wilburton, Cambridgeshire.”

Other medieval churches include:

  • The Church of St James the Great, in Westerleigh, South Gloucestershire, which also dates to 13th century, received £161,000 for porch and roof repairs.
  • St Mary’s Church, Lydiard Tregoze, Swindon, a parish church of 13th century origins containing multi-layered wall and ceiling paintings dating from the 13th- 15th and 16th, 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. St Mary’s has been offered £50,000 for repairs to the walls, roof and wall paintings.
  • The 12th century St Andrew’s Church, Haughton-le-Skerne, received £146,000 towards repairs to tower, chancel masonry, nave and chancel roofs and carrying out a bat survey.
  • Church of St Mary the Virgin, Newington, Kent – records state that there was a church on the site in the 11th century, but the earliest part of the present church appears to be the vestry, which may have been the base of a Norman tower. The church was extensively restored in 1862 and some of the roof has recently been repaired. However, it still needs substantial work and a £96,000 grant will aid repairs.
  • St Giles’ in Sheldon, Birmingham, which has parts dating back to the 14th century. The red sandstone building has been awarded a total of £117,000 towards urgent repair work to the tower.
  • The timber framed Church of St Nicholas in Dormston, near Droitwich, Worcestershire, parts of which date back to the 14th century. The timber framed tower (circa 1450) and porch have decayed to the point where urgent repairs are needed. A grant of £18,000 has been offered towards repairs to the decayed timber frame of the west end tower; the timber frame of the porch; the reconstruction of plinths; the re-covering of the roof; alleviation of damp penetration in bases of walls; and improvements to south side storm drainage system.
  • St Bartholomew’s, Moreton Corbet, Shropshire, which has parts dating from the 12th century. St Bartholomew’s is located near Moreton Corbet Castle and had a close association with it. The church has a leaking roof which has resulted in it dropping out of alignment, putting not only the roof but the interior at risk of damage. A grant of £61,000 has been made towards the stripping and re-tiling of the roof; structural stablisation work; repair/replacement of rainwater goods; repair to gable copings; and conservation of the decorative paint scheme to the east wall of the chancel

Since 2002, almost £140 million of grants have been awarded for more than 1500 projects. Dr Simon Thurley, Chief Executive of English Heritage, said; “Thanks to the generosity of the Heritage Lottery Fund, and ultimately therefore of Lottery players, our historic places of worship in direct need still have the vital safety net of the Repair Grants scheme. Without it, many brave but struggling congregations would be faced with watching their beloved churches and chapels falling into ruin. Instead, the combination of Heritage Lottery Fund money and English Heritage advice is seeing these wonderful buildings revived and restored and becoming ever more central to their communities as places of prayer and celebration and as a hub for local services.”

Source: Heritage Lottery Fund

Sharan Newman