Churches benefitting from government funding boost to tackle vital building work

Two churches have been awarded government funding to help fund vital repairs during the coronavirus pandemic.

The funding will help churches such as St George's to complete much-needed repair work (Image by Diocese of Worcester)
The funding will help churches such as St George's to complete much-needed repair work (Image by Diocese of Worcester)

St George’s Church, in Kidderminster, and St Peter’s Church, in Astley, near Stourport, have each been awarded money from the Culture Recovery fund.

The two churches are among five Grade I or II* listed churches in the Diocese of Worcester to receive the funding, which will help with urgent repairs needed in order for the buildings to be maintained and to remain water tight.

St George’s Church was awarded almost £8,000 to commission a survey of its cast iron window frames.

The church also needs repairs to be carried out to cracked and broken diamond panes in the windows as well as the repair of three broken opening lights.

The work will prevent further deterioration in the future and will mean it is easier to retain heat in the building, which in turn ensures water cannot penetrate and cause staining to the walls.

Rector of Kidderminster East, David Hildred, said he was delighted to be able to get on with the repairs and said the financial help was very gratefully received.

He said: “Many people have faced financial challenges because of the pandemic, and it’s the same for us as a church as our income has dropped.

“This grant will enable us to tackle some of the ever-present repairs that are necessary to make our building as eco-efficient as possible and to keep it comfortable for worshippers and visitors. We are very grateful.”

St Peter’s Church was awarded £20,000 towards the cost of making repairs to its tower.

Peter Archer, secretary to the Astley Parish Council, said the money would make a huge difference and that work would start within weeks.

He said: “The grant will be put towards the overall cost of replacing 32 oak louvres in the tower. The louvres are most likely at least 400-years-old and recently two have slipped and fallen to the ground 70 feet below.

“This has created a significant health and safety risk. The work will require us to put scaffolding on all four sides of the tower, which is hugely expensive. We hope to start work in the spring.”

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