March 8 2014 Latest news:
Wednesday, December 25, 2013
A Grade I Listed church in west Suffolk is one of seven historic places of worship to share in £558,500 of Heritage Lottery funding.
St Mary’s Church in Rougham near Bury St Edmunds will receive a £35,900 grant for essential repairs to its roof.
The money, awarded though the lottery’s Grants for Places of Worship (GPOW) programme to churches across the Anglia region, will make vital repair work possible and enable the buildings to be brought back to the heart of the communities they serve.
St Mary’s will use the money to retile its chancel roof after experts from English Heritage advised that the work should be carried out quickly to prevent serious structural defects.
The award comes just in time as leaks were starting to penetrate the roof timbers and risked damaging the church’s interior.
As part of the project, local schoolchildren will learn about the construction of St Mary’s and the different roof coverings used throughout the church. Volunteers will create a model of the roof construction and a new guide book on the heritage of the church will be produced for visitors.
Other churches that will benefit from the funding include four in Norfolk and two in Essex.
The programme was launched in March this year and provides money for urgent structural repairs in addition to new works that support and encourage greater community use and engagement. It is designed to help increase the number of people who take an active interest in celebrating these historic buildings and who will care for them in the future.
Robyn Llewellyn, head of the lottery fund for the East of England, said: “Places of worship provide us with a powerful visual connection with our past, lying at the heart of almost every city, town and village in the eastern counties and beyond. These grants will also encourage congregations to adapt these buildings so they can be enjoyed throughout the community and in turn enable them to be more sustainable for the future.”