Breage Church has received initial support from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for a project to stabilise the pinnacles at the top of the church tower, it was announced today. Development funding of £16,500 has also been awarded to help the Grade I listed church progress their plans to apply for a full grant of £180,000 at a later date.

Made possible by money raised by National Lottery players, the HLF grant will enable detailed specifications and drawings to be prepared for the work to stabilise the pinnacles and refurbish the existing flagpole and tabernacle, allowing a second submission to HLF to secure further funding needed for the building work. Also included in the development phase is the preparation of an activity plan to set out what will be done to engage people in the wider community with the rich history and heritage of the building.

Chris Dale, Breage Church’s Treasurer, says that further fundraising will be needed: “The National Lottery grant from HLF will provide the bulk of the funding, but we do need to raise further significant funds for this project. We aim to raise enough not only to complete the repairs to the pinnacles and the heritage work, but also to replace our inadequate toilet facilities.”

The National Lottery grant award comes hard on the heels of two other significant projects at Breage Church. Roof repairs and improvements to drainage were completed in March, with the help of a grant of almost £50,000 from the Listed Places of Worship Roof Repair Fund. And the Church of England’s 100 Treasures Programme funded recently-completed conservation work on the famous medieval wall paintings, originally uncovered during renovations in the late 19th century.

Churchwarden Trefor Bowen commented: “We have been very fortunate to have secured these three substantial grant awards over the past two or three years. Without this funding, the building would be under threat, and we still need to raise more.”

Breage Church tower is a prominent and well-known local landmark, even appearing on nautical charts to guide shipping. During the building works it will be even more noticeable, surrounded by scaffolding and with a roof over the top of the current flagpole. This will enable work to continue in all weathers.