A Suffolk church has been given a £10,000 grant by The National Churches Trust to ensure it remains at the heart of the local community.

All Saints’ Church in Little Bealings is one of 47 churches and chapels in the UK that will share in an incredible £473,700 funding package from the trust, which is one of the leading national independent charities concerned with protecting and maintaining churches, chapels and meeting houses of all denominations.

The funds will go towards providing All Saints’ with a kitchen, and help with efforts to keep the church at the heart of the local community.

BBC broadcaster and journalist, Huw Edwards, is vice president of The National Churches Trust. He said: “I am delighted that the historic All Saints’ Church, Little Bealings is being helped with a £10,000 National Churches Trust Cornerstone Grant.

“The grant will help fund the installation of a kitchen, safeguarding unique local heritage and making it possible for All Saints' to support local people in new way.”

East Anglian Daily Times: BBC broadcaster Huw Edwards is the Vice President of The National Churches TrustBBC broadcaster Huw Edwards is the Vice President of The National Churches Trust (Image: Huw Edwards)

All Saints’ was built in the late 1200s, but there is evidence to suggest that parts of the building are as early as the 9th or 10th century.

The renovations which can now be carried out will serve as part of the church’s efforts to remain at the heart of the local community.

Helen Clarkson-Fieldsend has been overseeing this project on behalf of the church. She is thrilled to have received such generous support.

“This grant will make a world of difference to our church and to our community," she said.

“The kitchen will help us stabilise the church finances, serve as a gathering place to reduce rural isolation and loneliness, and provide physical and spiritual nourishment for our parishioners and visitors.

"We are delighted that the National Churches Trust is helping us realise our goal of ensuring our church will survive and remain at the heart of the village for many generations to follow.”

This year, the trust has awarded or recommended grants totalling £3.67 million to help keep church buildings open and in a good state of repair. This all is part of their mission to promote the value of church buildings to the wider community.