St Giles’ Church in Pontefract has just been awarded a £60,000 grant to help complete some essential external repair work on the building.
The church was awarded the grant by the WREN FCC Heritage Fund grant, which is used to ‘fund the repair, maintenance or restoration of a building or structure of architectural or historic importance’, on the recommendation of the National Churches Trust.
Father Bob Cooper, the vicar of St Giles’, says, “We are delighted to receive the support of the WREN FCC Heritage Fund which will enable us to complete the final phase of repairs to the building.
“This is a very old church and the current building has seen many changes over the years to meet the needs of the local community.
“St Giles’ Church has been on the Historic England 'At Risk' register for the last few years and the grant will ensure the preservation of the town’s most prestigious heritage building for the benefit of future generations of our local community.”
The £60,000 grant will be combined with a £10,000 grant from The Garfield Weston Foundation, a £5,000 grant from Yorkshire Historic Churches Trust, a £4,500 grant from the Allchurches Trust and a grant of £172,100 from The National Heritage Lottery Fund, while the £50,000 worth of VAT will be claimed from the Listed Places of Worship Grants Scheme, making the total cost of project an estimated £310,000.
The current project is the second phase of essential external fabric repairs which will include repairs to external stonework, roof drainage, internal secondary glazing to aisle windows and repairs of internal stonework, new nosing to north and south entrance steps and repairs to steps and railings to East Entrance of South Aisle.
Huw Edwards, broadcaster, journalist and Vice President of the National Churches Trust, says, “The UK’s churches and chapels are a treasure trove of architecture, history and faith. But the cost of keeping them in good repair is far beyond the means of congregations.
“That’s why I’m delighted that the National Churches Trust has greenlit a £60,000 WREN FCC Heritage Fund grant to St Giles’ in Pontefract.
“This funding will help ensure that the church continues to serve local people for many years to come.”
A church has been situated on the site of St Giles', in Pontefract’s market place, since the 12th century and the grant will allow some urgent repair work to be completed on the church's exterior, helping it to remain central to the community for many years to come.
WREN is a not-for-profit business that awards grants for community, biodiversity and heritage projects from funds donated by FCC Environment through the Landfill Communities Fund while the National Churches Trust is a national independent charity.
Peter Moralee, WREN’s grant manager for the FCC Heritage Fund, says, “FCC Environment and WREN are dedicated to supporting projects that safeguard the future of some of the country’s most at risk heritage sites.
“We are delighted to be working with the National Churches Trust and pleased our funding will go such a long way in preserving these historic sites for generations to come.”
The money given to St Giles’ is just one of 26 grants awarded by WREN’s FCC Heritage Fund this year.
Since the Fund was set up in 2010, over £4.7 million has been awarded to 95 heritage projects.
To find out more about WREN’s FCC Heritage Fund, please call Peter Moralee on: 01379 687226; or email at: peter.moralee [at] wren.org.uk
To find out more about the Fund please also visit: www.wren.org.uk