Church gets £50K to fund vital works

St Cuthbert's Church at Fishlake.

St Cuthbert's Church at Fishlake.

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A MEDIEVAL church has been given a £50,000 grant for vital restoration work, after 25 years of improvement works.

St Cuthbert Church in Fishlake will be restored to its former glory with the new stream of funding which aims to save heritage sites.

The grant has been given to the church by the not-for-profit company Waste Recycling Environmental (WREN), as part of a new heritage fund which helps to protect listed buildings and structures of historical importance.

Peter Cox, managing director of WREN, said: “WREN makes a difference to people’s lives by awarding grants to community, environmental and heritage projects. It’s vital that we support the long-term survival of historical sites such as St Cuthbert Church.

“Buildings like this are part of the historical fabric of the UK and we must ensure they remain intact for future generations to enjoy. We’re delighted to support the restoration and look forward to the completion of this stage of the project.”

The church, which dates back to the 12th century, is in its third phase of restoration, which has been ongoing since 1985. This work was carried out thanks to grants from English Heritage and the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The final round of work on will begin in the spring and will mean the long-term restoration project will be complete.

It will fund repairs to the chancel roof and allow the reglazing of windows in the clerestory.

To date the church tower has had a new roof installed, restoring the church to a state where the bells can be rung. Further sections of the roof have also been rebuilt, the knave windows have been reglazed along with extensive rewiring.

The work is scheduled to begin in the spring, and will happen alongside other projects being carried out by a group of villagers.

Fundraising by residents has so far helped to pay for the alteration of the west end and reflagging of a large area of the floor. The group also plans to add a toilet to the vestry to make the church more suitable for visitors, including people who come from abroad to research their ancestors.