HISTORIC churches that suffered flooding and storm damage are to
receive government help to pay for their repairs.
The money will be given directly to the Churches Conservation
Trust (CCT), which looks after the churches. The trust estimates
that the repair bill will reach £100,000.
Among the churches affected is St George's, on the Isle of
Portland, which was badly hit by the storms, and had rainwater
pouring in through the gallery and windows. A CCT volunteer at St
George's, Patricia Williams, said: "The recent weather has caused
untold damage around the country. I was concerned to see the water
ingress and storm damage at St George's, as I know that the trust
would have difficulty in funding the repairs. It is a relief to
hear that this grant has been offered, so that this wonderful
church won't suffer any more damage." Further into west Dorset, All
Saints', in Nether Cerne, flooded when river levels rose near
The grant money will be spread across 11 churches in the West
Country, but will stretch, too, to Norfolk and Lincolnshire. The
repair work should be complete by the end of the month.
The chief executive of the CCT, Crispin Truman, said:
"Inevitably, the recent extreme weather has hit a number of our
historic churches around the country, with issues from serious
flooding and water ingress to wind damage causing holes to appear
in church roofs.
"As a charity, these unexpected urgent repairs create a
financial burden; so we are extremely grateful to be receiving
emergency funding from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport
in order to help us repair the damage quickly."
The Tourism Minister, Helen Grant, said: "Our historic churches
play an important part in local tourism throughout the country,
attracting two million visitors a year. This money will help those
churches of great heritage value that have been hit hard by the
extreme weather and require urgent repair-work to protect them from
further damage so they can be enjoyed by future generations."
The Government has also announced that councils are to get
funding of £140 million to repair roads damaged by flooding.
In one of the areas worst hit by the floods, the Somerset
Levels, the clean-up has only now begun, as evacuated residents are
finally able to return.
Disinterred. Cliff erosion caused by the
storms has uncovered the bones of a Cistercian monk in Monknash,
Wales, the site of a medieval burial ground. The thigh bones were
spotted poking out of the cliff face by a walker. The area was home
to a community of Cistercian monks from 1129 until the Dissolution
of the Monasteries in 1535.