Christmas bonuses for two historic Cornish churches
Two Cornish churches on the Historic England Heritage at Risk Register have been given combined grants of £25,000, just in time for Christmas.
The Grade II listed St Just-in-Penwith Parish Church has been granted £10,000 to help fund urgent repairs to a leaking roof and stone work.
The earliest written evidence of a church on the site dates to 1254. A ‘new’ church was built in 1334, with extensive rebuilding in the 14th and 15thcenturies.The church also features two medieval wall paintings. One depicts St George and the Dragon, the other shows Christ surrounded by medieval trade tools.
But in recent years the church’s Victorian slate roof has begun to let water through and has caused chunks of plaster to break away from the ceiling. The project will make the church watertight by replacing the failing slate, the ceiling, and faulty drains and gutters. This will alleviate damp, helping to safeguard the medieval wall paintings.
Andrew Burt, project and fundraising lead and secretary of the parochial church council (PCC), said:“As a building of significant historical and architectural interest, it is deeply important to local residents and visitors alike and the whole town is thrilled that the National Churches Trust has recognised the need to preserve this heritage for future generations by contributing a grant to help secure a new roof for the church.”
The Grade I listed St Wendrona Church, Wendron, has been granted £15,000, again to help fund urgent repairs to the roof. It is also on the Historic England Heritage At Risk register.
The church dates back to the 13th century, but was mostly built in the 15th century. Its exterior is little altered since then and the church retains a medieval wagon roof and a 15th-century stone font. It was refurbished in the Victoria era.
The church is on Historic England’s Heritage At Risk Register because of the poor condition of the tower roof. Water has come through the roof, causing the timber below to deteriorate.
Repaired and replaced
Large sections of the slate roof will now be replaced, and rotten wood repaired. Waterproofing features will be renewed, including faulty drains, gutters and leadwork.
Team Rector, Revd Canon David Miller, said: “We are all extremely grateful for the wonderful and generous support provided by the National Churches Trust. Its support has made a huge difference as we have sought to reach our target figure for the essential repairs to our building.”
Grants total £430,000
In all, 77 churches and chapels in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland are sharing in a £430,000 Christmas grant payout from the National Churches Trust, the charity supporting church buildings of all Christian denominations across the UK.
Broadcaster and journalist Huw Edwards, vice president of The National Churches Trust, said:“The UK’s historic churches and chapels are a vital part of our national heritage. But to survive, many need to carry out urgent repairs and install modern facilities. The cost of this work is far beyond what most congregations can pay for themselves and the latest grants from the National Churches Trust will help ensure that 77 churches and chapels are safe for future generations to enjoy.”
“In 2018 the National Churches Trust awarded grants of £1.2 million to help 202 projects at churches and chapels around the UK.”
“Demand for funding from the National Churches Trust continues to grow, with 583 grant applications received in 2018, up from 473 grant applications in 2017, a 23% increase.”