CLERGY today praised plans to restore a historic church to its former glory.
St Andrew’s Church, in Roker, is one of six places of worship in the North East to secure a share of £460,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).
As reported in the Echo, the £168,000 grant will be used for repairs to its early English-Norman clear glazed windows, including frame replacement and the installation of antique glass to replace damaged panes.
The Grade I Listed building, constructed in 1906 and 1907, is considered a “fine example of the Arts and Crafts style”. Speaking today, Dick Bradshaw, Team Rector for the Parish of Monkwearmouth, said the donation was “absolutely crucial”.
“The HLF grant of £168,000 for St Andrew’s is absolutely crucial for the maintenance and repair of this stunning and unique church building.
“We are in the process of completely replacing and restoring all the windows, comprising specially manufactured panes of glass, which are now in a state of irrevocable damage after decades of weathering from the North Sea gales.
“We have managed to raise modest funding ourselves and still need to raise some more but without the generous HLG funding we would be unable to get anywhere near the required amount.
“It gives us huge boost of confidence and, timed as it was, came as a wonderful Christmas present.”
The money comes from the Repair Grants for Places of Worship scheme, which is currently funded by HLF and administered by English Heritage.
The other churches to benefit from the scheme are St Andrew’s Church, in County Durham, St Giles Church, Northumberland, and Christ Church and St Matthew’s Church, both in Newcastle.
Ivor Crowther, Head of HLF North East, said: “Historic places of worship form prominent and much loved landmarks in our villages, towns and cities across the North East.
“They are unique buildings that bring local communities together for a variety of reasons from worship through to culture and leisure.
Carol Pyrah, English Heritage Planning and Conservation director for the North East, said: “Listed places of worship make up an elemental part of the historic fabric of England.
“It is crucial they are cared for and repaired.”