Roof repair funding joy for Cumbrian churches
Five Cumbrian churches have benefited to the tune of nearly £200,000 to help fund roof repairs.
They are among nearly 400 Church of England parishes to receive grants for urgent repairs to their church roofs in the first round of awards from the Listed Places of Worship Roof Repair Fund, as announced by Chancellor George Osborne.
Among the successful applicants in the Diocese of Carlisle is St Cuthbert’s Church in Kentmere which has been awarded £96,000 towards the cost of work to repair the structure of the building’s roof.
The Rev Shanthi Thompson, Priest-in-Charge of Staveley, Ings and Kentmere, said: “We are absolutely delighted to have been successful in the application.
“I’m delighted that the hard work of so many people in our congregation has been rewarded in this way. The Diocese has also been incredibly supportive throughout the process, for which everyone is extremely grateful.”
It’s hoped work at St Cuthbert’s will begin in the Summer and will form part of a wider project as the church looks to develop as a place of pilgrimage and prayer.
A £42,000 award is also to be made to St John the Evangelist in Levens. It will fund nearly three quarters of the costs of replacing the roof in the nave and forms part of the church’s overall ‘Watertight and Warm’ project.
The Rev Ruth Crossley, Priest-in-Charge of Levens, said: “We could hardly believe it when we learned that we’d been successful.
“It is very exciting for us. We have already money set aside to go towards the balance of the costs which means we are able to push on with the work as soon as possible.”
The awards form part of a £30 million funding package for listed places of worship, with confirmation that a second round of £25 million is to open for 2015-16.
ChurchCare, the buildings division of the Church of England, welcomed the grants for a total of 372 parish churches – worth just over £19 million - and said that this would make an “immeasurable” difference to local communities.
Around 12,000 of the Church of England’s 16,000 parish churches are listed and 806 of these were included on the 2014 Heritage at Risk Register prepared by English Heritage. This highlighted the impact of leaks from roofs as the principal cause of decay in historic churches.
All the churches benefiting will receive grants between £10,000 and £100,000 towards the urgent repair of roofs, gutters and drains.
The Bishop of Penrith, the Rt Rev Robert Freeman, said: “It’s wonderful news to hear that this money has been awarded to help protect our parish churches.
“This will enable these wonderful buildings to be better used to serve their communities and as places of worship now and in the future.”
The Fund, administered by the National Heritage Memorial Fund (NHMF) on behalf of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, was heavily oversubscribed when applications closed on January 31. The decision to increase the scheme to a total of £55 million, to be awarded over two rounds, was a response to this demand.
The second round, for the allocation of the remaining £25 million set aside for the scheme, is expected to open later in 2015. Both unsuccessful applicants under the initial scheme and new applicants will be able to apply, and ChurchCare will be providing support and guidance to those interested in applying.
Note for editors
The full list of Cumbrian churches to benefit from the Listed Place of Worship Roof Repair Fund are:
St Cuthbert's Church, Kentmere St Cuthbert's Church, Kentmere, Cumbria, LA8 9JL - £96,000
Parish of Greystoke St Andrews Church, Greystoke, Cumbria, CA11 0TJ - £10,500
St John the Evangelist, Levens, Cumbria, LA8 8PS - £42,000
Carlisle Christian Fellowship, Charlotte Street Church, Carlisle, Cumbria, CA2 5BT Trust - £36,900
St Patrick's Church, Patterdale, Anglican and Methodist, Cumbria, CA11 0NL - £11,400
For further information please contact Dave Roberts, Diocesan Communications Manager, on 07469 153658, 01228 815401 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.