Monday, July 14: Church supported by lottery

PUBLISHED: 16:34 14 July 2008 | UPDATED: 09:18 10 June 2010

A WITHYCOMBE Raleigh church has received a £94,000 lottery cash-injection for urgently-needed roof repairs. The money from the Heritage Lottery Fund and English Heritage is for St John The Evangelist - and just part of a £280,000 package to three Grade I

A WITHYCOMBE Raleigh church has received a £94,000 lottery cash-injection for urgently-needed roof repairs. The money from the Heritage Lottery Fund and English Heritage is for St John The Evangelist - and just part of a £280,000 package to three Grade II listed churches in the South West.The grant will fund the replacement of slates and carpentry repairs to the roof over the north transept, north nave, organ chamber and north chancel, which are in a poor condition - and the removal of rainwater goods, repairing corroded parts and repainting. Julie Cooper, head of the Heritage Lottery Fund for the South West, said: "People really care about their local places of worship which are often a focus for the whole community. The Heritage Lottery Fund and English Heritage are helping to secure their future by concentrating on the most urgent repair needs and so making a crucial difference to their long-term survival." The church was built in 1862-64, replacing a Chapel of Ease on another site - at the west end of the nave are two Dalles-de-verre screens, designed by Charles Norris in 1964, all fabricated from stained glass originally from Buckfast Abbey with the south transept window serving as a war memorial.More recently the church has become notable for it bells; and following fund-raising in 2006, it now has 13 bells hung for full circle ringing and one chimed bell, which are rung regularly. Andrew Vines, regional director of English Heritage in the South West, said: "England's churches and chapels are the spiritual, communal and architectural backbone of our villages, towns and cities. English Heritage is proud to be supporting the repair of these important historic buildings." The Church of England currently spends £120m a year on repairs but, according to English Heritage, the backlog repair bill for all listed places of worship in England is an estimated £925m over the next five years, or £185m a year.

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