Published: 13:00, 29 July 2017
A historic village church has been given an award from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
A grant of £25,900 has been given to St Mary Magdalene Church in Stockbury, towards continuing repairs to stabilise the Grade I listed building and the installation of a toilet.
The project aims to protect the future of the church for many years to come and enable it to be used for retreats.
The grant means the church is one step closer to applying for a full grant at a later date.
The Rev Elizabeth Cox said: “This is a start-up grant for us to do all the preparation work and then, hopefully, we will get further funds to carry out the rest.
“Essential conservation work is needed to stabilise the inside of the tower, so the bells can be rung on a regular basis, and we want to install toilet facilities.
“It’s really important historically that this building is kept open.”
The building is a focal point for the community as there has been a church on the site for more than 1,000 years. With the installation of a toilet, it will be possible for the building to be used for retreats or study days.
The present structure has architecture which dates back to the 11th Century and has been preserved despite being badly burned in two fires in the 18th Century. Mrs Cox said: “We’re delighted that we’ve received this support thanks to National Lottery players.
“The church has provided a focus for care and support for the local community for 1,000 years and we are delighted that we shall be able to pass the baton on to the next generation.”
She added: “A huge thank you goes, obviously, to the Heritage Lottery Fund because without them we wouldn’t even be able to think about going ahead with these vital repairs to protect the future of this historic church.”
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