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Churches and parishioners collect £750,000 Lottery cash to preserve listed buildings

By WMN_PGoodwin  |  Posted: August 13, 2013

Comments (8)

Eight historic churches and chapels in the South West have received a Lottery windfall to help pay for much-needed repairs and to make them more sustainable in future. 

Places of worship in Somerset, Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly are to share £751,800 in new Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) cash. 

Portbury Church in Somerset is amongst the first of 35 churches across the UK to be awarded a grant through HLF's new Grants for Places of Worship programme. 

St John's Church in Yeovil received £162,200, the Church of St Nicholas on Tresco, £106,000, St George the Martyr, in Truro, was given a grant of £64,000, and Ottery St Mary United Reformed Church was handed £99,000. 

The money is to help congregations address a back log of urgent repairs to listed churches and chapels, and supersedes the Repair Grants for Places of Worship scheme. 

It will also support and encourage greater community use and engagement, helping to increase the number of people who will care for the buildings in future. 

The grants will provide new toilets and kitchens;, create historical exhibitions, leaflets and guide books, commission skills training for volunteer tour guides;and develop digital marketing tools including websites and web-based tools such as apps. 

Nerys Watts, head of HLF South West, said; "There is a place of worship in almost every ward, village and town across the South West of England, providing a very powerful visual connection with our past." 

Dr Simon Thurley, chief executive of English Heritage, which provides expert advice for the programme, said: "There is so much more to this project than just making the physical structures safe and sound.

By providing money for visitor facilities, exhibitions, books and tour guides, the grants are going to help the public enjoy and appreciate these buildings. This is a vital part of keeping our heritage alive."

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  • pogle63a  |  August 13 2013, 11:25AM

    I am pleased to see our small churches getting some help from the lottery, whether you are religious or not these often ancient buildings should be preserved for future generations. No one will ever build buildings that will last through the centuries like these ever again so preserving them is no bad thing they are a living testimony to the people who lived around them and buried within them. The lottery gives money to many bizarre and less deserving projects - these buildings are as much a community asset as a place of worship. I hope this money helps the people concerned to keep their churches for many more years. As for most of the comments so far - get a life. There is plenty of lottery cash - because there a plenty of people on benefits who can afford to play it.

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  • Lafrowda  |  August 13 2013, 9:57AM

    Vinnie, you are confusing buildings, heritage, and the establishment with true Christian Churches. In 30 years of being part of a Biblical Church we never asked non members for a penny. No collections, jumble sales, cream teas, or charges for weddings or funerals. God's people provide for themselves and are thankful to do so. They are not subsidised by the State and obey the law of the land with regard to tax law, charity status, child protection, etc.

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  • plymgeorge1  |  August 13 2013, 9:37AM

    Totally agree with Vinnie on this one,the CHURCH is an industry absolutely awash with cash,no need for here for collections or handouts of funds meant for good causes in the community.No different to Tesco or M&S really, even the royals declined the cash for restoration at Windsor Castle after the fire and stumped up the cash from their own reserves,the church should follow the same line.

  • Foldart  |  August 13 2013, 9:18AM

    It seems the church is willing to take money collected from the masses, including the poor but aren't very forthcoming when it comes to paying out to the needy. Well, at least the lottery gave the masses more hope than the church, if only for a short time.

  • Vinnie_Gar  |  August 13 2013, 9:07AM

    I'm all for looking after historic buildings but the established churches are very wealthy organisations. The Church of England is one of the country's biggest landowners. But then, it's not unusual for god botherers to expect special treatment for their hobby.

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  • youngcornwall  |  August 12 2013, 4:41PM

    I know the teachings of the Bible is not the in thing for some these days but it clearly tells us that Gambling is a sin, for the churches to accept their thirty pieces of silver is very sad but understandable, as we are in the end times.

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  • Lafrowda  |  August 12 2013, 3:26PM

    These are buildings where Churches once met, not Churches per se. The word "church" is ecclesia which means the "called out ones". That is a gathering of people called out from the world to live a new life together, the born again of Christ's Spirit people. These grants are just the establishment shoring up one of its tteetering homes. No true Christian would accept lottery money.

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  • timplymouth  |  August 12 2013, 2:37PM

    Not a good use of lottery money.

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