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National Churches Trust receives £1.5m from Historic England for church repairs

25 February 2022

Church Times

St Mary the Virgin, Leighton Bromswold, has received £79,000 to fund repairs to the church building.

St Mary the Virgin, Leighton Bromswold, has received £79,000 to fund repairs to the church building.

REPAIRS to 31 historic churches will be funded by a £1.5-million grant from Historic England. The National Churches Trust has received the funds as part of the Government’s £2-billion Culture Recovery Fund.

The CEO of the National Churches Trust, Claire Walker, said on Thursday of last week: “Historic local places of worship are a vital part of our national heritage, but, sadly, a shortage of available funding means that many are in a very poor state of repair and under threat of closure.”

The grant comes on top of £2 million awarded last October. The Culture Recovery Fund seeks to mitigate economic damage to culture and heritage organisations caused by the pandemic.

Ms Walker welcomed the new grant: “The funding is a vote of confidence in the future of historic church buildings and a recognition of their importance to society.”

The TV presenter Huw Edwards, who is vice-president of the National Churches Trust, said: “Local churches, chapels, and meeting houses are the beating heart of local communities.” He said that the grant “will help to protect heritage and keep churches open so that they can continue to support local people”.

Among the churches to receive funding is St Mary the Virgin, Leighton Bromswold. The church has been awarded £79,000 to fund repairs to the nave, north transept, and porch roofs. The Grade I listed church, in Cambridgeshire, has one of the most complete sets of Jacobean pews and woodwork in England. The interior is believed to have been commissioned by the priest and poet George Herbert.

Of the 31 churches to receive funding, 16 have not previously been recipients of grants from the Culture Recovery Fund.

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