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A Lancashire church will share in a £290k funding payout from the National Churches Trust with a £10,000 NCT Cornerstone Grant which will help fund the renovation of the building's roof.

St Paul’s Church, Warton, will use the grant to help make the church watertight, preserving its historic fabric and allowing a brass band back into the building.

Broadcaster and journalist Huw Edwards, Vice President of The National Churches Trust, said: “The UK's historic churches and chapels are a vital part of our national heritage. But to survive, many need to carry out urgent repairs and install modern facilities. I’m delighted that the St Paul's Church, Warton, is being helped with a £10,000 National Churches Trust grant. The renovation work on the building's roof will help secure the future of an historic building.”

Ian Fraser, Churchwarden at St Paul’s said: “We are most grateful to the National Churches Trust for awarding us this grant.”

“Over the years, as a church, we had been trying to patch up our old roof, but recently it became clear that a more fundamental approach was needed in order to resolve the leaking roof and fleche.

"As a village community we have been fundraising for over six years. On a particularly rainy evening event last autumn, the urgency became all too obvious, when an unfortunate brass band member found out that he was sitting in the wrong place, as rainwater constantly dripped into his french horn and down his back!

“However, I am delighted to say that this National Churches Trust award has enabled us to reach our target and we expect to commence work very shortly.

“Owing to significant local housing development, our village is expected to more than double in size over the next few years, so when the repairs are completed, we will also be much better placed to serve our expanding community.

“We will also look forward to welcoming back the brass band members to help us celebrate our newly weatherproof church!”

The church

The original church dates from 1724, but was demolished and replaced by the current stone building in 1886 on land donated by Madeline Clifton, widow of Thomas Henry Clifton.

Its design, by Messrs Aldridge and Deacon, of Liverpool, has what is thought to be a unique open flèche bell tower located at the junction of the Nave and the Chancel roof.

It has a side chapel dedicated to 'Christ the Carpenter', so named to reflect the role of 'the many craftsmen and technicians in the village'. That heritage lives on as the altar is made from wood from the original church, as are the altar rails which are made from oak roof beams.

The project

The project will allow for renovation of the slate roof to stop water ingress.

Grants to help churches

A total of 48 churches and chapels in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland will benefit from the latest grants from the National Churches Trust, the charity supporting church buildings of all Christian denominations across the UK.

Last year, the National Churches Trust helped support 202 projects with grants of £1.2 million. 23 churches and chapels were removed from the Heritage at Risk Register in 2018 with the support of the Trust’s grants.

Churches and chapels open for regular public worship (i.e. more than six services a year) and in England, Wales, Northern Ireland, Scotland, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands can apply for a grant from the National Churches Trust.  More details at  www.nationalchurchestrust.org/grants