A special service was held last night in St Joseph’s Church in Meigh to celebrate the completion of a programme of restoration works. Hundreds of worshipers from three local parishes attended the service in the Grade B2 listed church, which received a grant of £95,300 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) through its Repair Grants for Places of Worship (RPOW) scheme.
The funding was used to carry out urgent works and essential repairs which formed part of a wider building scheme undertaken by the church. The issues surrounding the long term sustainability of the church, including water penetration and damaged stonework, have now been addressed.
The church, which opened in 1852, is at the heart of the local community and Father Naughton is delighted that it has been conserved for future generations. He said: “St. Joseph’s serves the local community as both a place of worship and as a centre for community activities. On behalf of the parish of Upper Killeavy, I would like to thank HLF for their support which has ensured that our church will be here to serve the community for generations to come.”
HLF has given over £30 million to repair and restore religious centres since it began distributing funds over a decade ago. Hundreds of places of worship have benefited from funding which has enabled them to restore their roofs, preserve their stained glass windows and repair the damage caused by nature.
Head of HLF Northern Ireland, Paul Mullan, said: “Places of worship have an importance within the local community, both spiritually and socially. The RPOW funding programme is open to all faith groups and denominations and we would encourage any organisation thinking of making an application to get in touch. HLF has already invested over £30 million through this scheme and we will continue to help conserve and protect these buildings which are rich in local heritage”.