Churches receive half million pound boost to repairs
Published 17 July 2012
The National Churches Trust handed out more than half a million pounds in grants to churches across the UK last month.
Grants totalling £546,000 went to 30 places of worship to cover repairs to stonework, architectural features, stolen lead roofing and the improvement of facilities for use by the wider community.
Churches receiving grants included the church of St Michael and All Angels in Haworth, in Bronte country, and St Michael and the Holy Angels Catholic church, West Bromwich, where one of the first priests was George Spencer, the great great great uncle of Diana, Princess of Wales. He is now being considered for beatification.
Another grant went to the parish church formed from Crowland Abbey, Lincolnshire, where the first church bells were hung, and St Barrwg in Bedwas, Monmouthshire, which dates back to 1002 and is one of the oldest churches in Wales.
The latest grants come as the National Churches Trust celebrates its fifth anniversary. Since its launch in June 2007, the trust has given grants exceeding £8 million to nearly 900 places of worship in the UK.
The Archbishop of Canterbury and joint president of the National Churches Trust, Dr Rowan Williams praised the organisation's contribution to the preservation of the UK's churches.
He said: "Facilities have been modernised, disused spaces utilised, buildings converted and interiors reordered enabling these churches to play an even more active and valued role and in sustaining local communities."
The National Churches Trust, which supports church buildings of all Christian denominations, is also managing part of a payout by the Department of Culture Media and Sport, worth £154,000 for places of worship outside the care of the Church of England.
John Penrose MP, Minister for Heritage and Tourism, said: "The financial and practical support provided by the National Churches Trust helps many of Britain's churches, chapels and meeting houses continue to flourish at the heart of their communities, by preserving their architecture and keeping their facilities up to date."
Claire Walker, chief executive of the National Churches Trust, said: "Many of the church buildings we are supporting are major architectural landmarks.
"They are much loved both by local people, and by visitors who enjoy the beauty and history of these sacred spaces.
"Our grants, together with funding from partner organisations, will help pay for urgent repairs to roofs, stonework and precious architectural features."
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