A WATERLOO church will receive £55,200 for vital repair work from the government’s Culture Recovery Fund.
Old Christ Church, on Waterloo Road, no longer operates as a place or worship but is a popular venue for local community groups and businesses to hold events.
Some of the many events held at Old Christ Church includes annual flea markets, beer festivals and food festivals.
It is estimated that around 40,000 people visit the Waterloo church every year.
The Churches Conservation Trust (CCT) is one of 445 heritage organisations across the country set to receive a lifesaving financial boost from the £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund to help them through the coronavirus pandemic.
CCT is the national charity protecting historic churches at risk and cares for 356 grade I and grade II churches across England, including Old Christ Church.
This grant will allow the re-leading of the fine Shrigley and Hunt stained glass and urgent stone repairs to the west window. These specialist glazing and stone repairs, using traditional skills, will help sustain historic craft skills.
Duncan Wilson, Historic England’s Chief Executive said: “It is heartening to see grants, both large and small, from the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund helping heritage sites and organisations across the country which have been hit hard by the effects of Covid-19. Cont. inside
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“These grants range from giving skilled craft workers the chance to keep their trades alive to helping heritage organisations pay the bills, and to kick-starting repair works at our best-loved historic sites. The funding is an essential lifeline for our heritage and the people who work tirelessly to conserve it for us all, so that we can hand it on to future generations.”
It was only three years ago that Old Christ Church was at risk of closure after it was dubbed by some as the “crumbling tower” due to damage was caused when the sandstone began eroding due to the harsh coastal environment of the nearby beach.
As a result, the church was put on Historic England’s At Risk register with many fearing the worst for the historic building.
Part of the churchyard was roped off and the church was at risk of closure.
However, the Champion reported how the church was awarded an incredible £331,000 for essential building work through various grants as well as tireless fundraising from the Friends of Old Christ Church.