Big grants answer churches’ prayers

Weston St Mary's Church, which is to receive a �90,000 grant for repairs.

Weston St Mary's Church, which is to receive a �90,000 grant for repairs.

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THREE historic buildings will be preserved for future generations after receiving grants to carry out vital repairs.

Crowland Abbey Church, Weston St Mary’s and St Peter and St Paul’s in Kirton have been awarded more than £271,000 between them by English Heritage and the Heritage Lottery Fund to “revive and restore” treasured buildings which are central to the communities they serve.

The Rev Rosamund Seal, priest in charge of Weston St Mary’s, said the £90,000 it is to receive will kick-start a major project to mend the roof and guttering.

She said: “We are really pleased to receive this money as the lead has buckled on one side of the roof and the guttering has come away from the wall and water is running down and damaging the fabric of the building, which could be very serious in the long term.

“Overall it is going to cost £237,000 for the repairs, so this grant will kick-start that and we have between £60,000 and £70,000 of our own funds but we have now got to find another £80,000.

“We will be applying for more grants but we also need to get our heads together to come up with ideas for some serious fundraising.

“It’s going to be a long haul but it is important for future generations and it is a particularly beautiful and significant building which is a fine example of early gothic architecture”

Mrs Seal hopes the repairs will begin in the autumn.

In Kirton, English Heritage has answered the prayers of St Peter and St Paul’s congregation with a grant for £96,000.

It will be used to pay for repairs to the roof above the nave.

Father Gary Morgan said: “It is a very generous grant and we are obviously delighted.

“The lead sheeting above the nave has slipped and the wood underneath is in a bad condition. We hope to get the first stage, the preparation with surveys, started this year, then the actual repair work started next year.”

He said about £140,000 would be needed in total to complete the work at the Grade I listed building and the church is exloring other grant funding options to raise the rest of the money.

Father Morgan said he and the Parochial Church Council are keen to preserve the church as it for years to come.

He said: “Back in 1804 the church was drastically reduced and I don’t want in generations to come for people to look back at the vicar and the PCC as the villains of the piece.”

Crowland Abbey Church is also among the nine places of worship in Lincolnshire to share in the English Heritage windfall, pocketing £85,000.