East of England churches receive Easter boost thanks to National Lottery players!

All Saints, Turvey

The churches, spread across the East of England, and which provide a vital resource at the heart of rural communities in the region, will now see crucial repairs made possible in addition to programmes of community activities, ensuring the future of these very special buildings.

The grants, all made to Grade I or II* listed churches, have been awarded though HLF’s Grants for Places of Worship (GPOW) programme, thanks to National Lottery players.

HLF has invested over £66million into religious buildings and monuments across the East of England, and these latest awards demonstrate HLF’s commitment to repairing and restoring places of worship.

All Saints Church, Turvey in Bedfordshire has received a grant of £113,000. The grant will enable essential, urgent work to be carried out on the leaking roof, including the renewal of the roof timbers. A new children’s area will be created together with a child’s guide to the church, and work is planned outside to record the gravestones as well as restore a grassed, tranquil area in the churchyard and install a new bench.

The Grade I listed church is situated at the heart of Turvey and has been at the centre of village life for a thousand years. It is one of the finest and oldest churches in the Diocese of St. Albans, with parts of the present building dating to Saxon times. It features in England's Thousand Best Churches by Simon Jenkins. In addition to regular church services, in recent years All Saints has been used as a venue for music concerts and drama performances involving the local community, including the 'Turvey Mysteries' cycle of Mystery Plays.

“Churches have been at the heart of our communities for hundreds of years”Robyn Llewellyn, Head of HLF East of England

Robyn Llewellyn, Head of HLF East of England, said: “Churches have been at the heart of our communities for hundreds of years. We are delighted that All Saints has been awarded a grant to address the urgent repairs needed to its structure. The church itself is a very important building, both architecturally and to its community, and this project will enable it to continue to function as a space for worship, and serve local people of all ages for a range of activities.”

Other local churches receiving grants today include:

  • St Mary the Virgin, Baldock, Hertfordshire: £211,200
  • All Saints, Wood Norton, Norfolk: £193,000
  • Borley Church, Braintree, Essex: £151,200

Further information

  • All Saints, Turvey, Bedfordshire: £113,000 grant. Contact: Rod Petty on tel: 01234 881 619 or email: rod.petty1@gmail.com
  • St Mary the Virgin, Baldock, Hertfordshire: £211,200 grant. Repairs to the Grade I listed church in central Baldock will principally concern works in the south aisle, including re-leading the roof replicating the present chevron design. The project includes modest re-ordering work designed to improve the building's functionality for community use, some training, demonstrations of work in progress, teacher consultancy, exhibition and booklets. Contact: Peter Joslin on tel: 07802 656 277 or email: pwjoslin@hotmail.co.uk
  • All Saints, Wood Norton, Norfolk: £193,000 grant. All Saints Church, Wood Norton, will carry out urgent repairs to this Grade II* listed building, including retiling of the chancel, nave and vestry roofs, repairing the parapets and east chancel and east nave gables, re-leading the east chancel window, overhauling the south nave and south chancel rainwater goods and carrying out repairs to the tower. The church has possible Saxon origins and is a good example of how an earlier building was adapted and brought into line with the 15th century perpendicular style. Contact: Paul Marchant on tel: 01362 684 101 or email: paulwmarchant@btinternet.com
  • Borley Church, Braintree, Essex: £151,200 grant. Borley PCC will carry out urgent roof and window repairs to this Grade I listed building, including retiling the nave, porch and chancel, repair to rainwater goods and brickwork, external improvements, surveying wall paintings, and a programme of events and community activity. Borley Church stands on a pre-conquest manorial site at the centre of Borley village. The building consists of a nave and chancel with a west tower and south porch, with largely flint rubble walls and a plain red tile roof. The church's dedication date is unknown, however parts of the nave wall are believed to date back to the 12th century. Contact: Michael Stebbing on tel: 01787310180 or email: stebco@hotmail.co.uk
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