Churches given grants for urgent repairs

HISTORIC churches in Suffolk and Essex have been given more than £600,000 to help with urgent conservation work.It is part of a multi-million pound windfall handed out to Grade I and II* listed places of worship across East Anglia.

Craig Robinson

HISTORIC churches in Suffolk and Essex have been given more than £600,000 to help with urgent conservation work.

It is part of a multi-million pound windfall handed out to Grade I and II* listed places of worship across East Anglia.

The money, which has come from English Heritage and the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), will be used for repairs and maintenance throughout the region.

A total of £618,000 has been donated to help with the preservation of ten churches in Suffolk and £8,000 for one church in Essex.

Nick Clarke, spokesman for the diocese of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich, said: “The award of the grants is most generous.

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“They will enable necessary repairs to be undertaken quickly and allow the churches concerned to continue to play an active role in the communities they serve.”

In Essex the only church to receive a grant is the Grade I listed St John the Baptist in Finchingfield, near Braintree, which has been given £8,000 for re-leading of the porch roof, repairs to the structure and substrates, down pipes and painting of the porch ferramenta.

Edwin Collar, warden at St John the Baptist for 26 years, said: “We are very grateful for this donation. The repairs will cost a total of £26,000 so it goes a reasonable way and we have been able to generate the rest through various activities. We are now just waiting for the go-ahead and hopefully we can start in the next six or eight weeks after which we will also redecorate.”

A total of £2.64m has been given to churches in East Anglia under the Repair Grants for Places of Worship scheme including 17 in Norfolk and four in Cambridgeshire.

Greg Luton, regional director of English Heritage in the East of England, said: “Many of these time-worn treasures are only maintained through the hard work of small and hard-pressed communities. The grants will go some way to providing much-needed support.”

Carole Souter, director of HLF, added: “People really care about their local places of worship which are often a focus for the whole community.

“The Heritage Lottery Fund and English Heritage are helping to secure their future by concentrating on the most urgent repair needs and so making a crucial difference to their long-term survival.”

Church grants

Suffolk

St Nicholas Church, Bedfield: £57,000 for repairs to tower roof and masonry.

St Peter and Paul Church, Clare: £33,000 for re-leading of the south porch roof and repairs to the nave east turrets, the south porch west buttress and the conservation of the south porch masonry.

St Mary's Church, Clopton: £77,000 for repairs to tower, parapet walls and belfry windows.

St Michael's Church, Cookley: £62,000 to re-roof the nave, south porch and north chancel and for structural repairs.

St Mary's Church, Debenham: £74,000 for repairs to porch roof, foundation sand masonry drainage.

St Michael's Church, Framlingham: £64,000 to strip and re-lay the north chancel aisle and associated stonework,

All Saints Church, Laxfield: £74,000 for structural repairs to buttresses and failing flint panels.

All Saints Church, Mettingham: £54,000 to replace tower roof.

St John the Baptist Church, Stoke by Clare: £79,000 for re-leading of the tower roof on a new structure and extensive masonry repairs.

St Ethelbert's Church, Tannington: £44,000 for repair of the tower roof, structural repairs to supporting timber structure and the stitching of crack in the west belfry window.

Essex

St John the Baptist Church, Finchingfield: £8,000 for re-leading of the porch roof, repairs to the structure and substrates, downpipes and painting of the porch ferramenta.

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