St Peter and All Hallows Church in West Huntspill has this week received a £15,000 boost from the government’s Culture Recovery Fund to help fund urgent roof repairs during the coronavirus pandemic.
Lifeline grants from the Culture Recovery Fund are designed to protect heritage sites and ensure that jobs and access to culture and heritage in local communities are protected during the months ahead.
St Peter and All Hallows has been awarded £15,000 for essential repairs to the roof of the main church, which will stop water seeping through causing damage to both the roof timbers and interior of the church.
The grant comes at a crucial point, while a major project to repair and restore the Tower, and reorder the inside of the West end of the church is about to get underway.
This grant will waterproof the main church while this takes place buying us time before we need to embark on more major work on the roof.
Grants of up to £25,000 are being allocated to cherished heritage sites, like St Peter and All Hallows, across the country to cover urgently needed maintenance and repairs.
This vital funding comes from a part of the Culture Recovery Fund called the Heritage Stimulus Fund and is administered on behalf of the government by Historic England.
Churchwarden David Lemon told Burnham-On-Sea.com: “We are delighted to receive this funding from the Culture Recovery Fund.”
“This will buy us time while the major repairs and reordering takes place to the Tower, making the main part of the Church waterproof, protecting not just the wooden roof structure, but the inside of the Church’.”
A church has stood on this site in West Huntspill since 1194. The grade 1 listed building dates back to around 1400, with extensions in the mid 15 Century.
It has been a centre of the community since then, surviving the Tsunami of 1607 and a major fire of 1878. The Church has been referred to as one of the finest country churches in Somerset, and even dubbed ‘The Cathedral of the Levels’.
Duncan Wilson, Historic England Chief Executive, adds: “Historic places across the country are being supported by the Government’s grants awarded under the Culture Recovery Fund.”
He adds: “This funding is a lifeline which is kick-starting essential repairs and maintenance at many of our most precious historic sites, so they can begin to recover from the damaging effects of COVID-19.”
“It is also providing employment for skilled craft workers who help keep historic places alive and the wheels of the heritage sector turning. Our shared heritage is an anchor for us all in these challenging times and this funding will help to ensure it remains part of our collective future.”
Burnham-On-Sea.com reported on the launch of a fundraising roof appeal at the church in 2014, which was given a boost by the National Lottery Heritage Fund in 2019, however the fundraising work is ongoing.