Sunderland church’s £168,000 repair lifeline

SUBMITTED PIC NOP''From: [] 'Sent: 21-08-2012 10:38''St Andrew's Church, Roker,  Sunderland
SUBMITTED PIC NOP''From: [] 'Sent: 21-08-2012 10:38''St Andrew's Church, Roker, Sunderland
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A WEARSIDE church has been handed £168,000 of funding to carry out much-needed repairs.

St Andrew’s Church, in Roker, is one of six historic places of worship in the North East to secure a share of £460,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).

The 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”.

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.

“Since 1994, the HLF has invested more than £500 million into these precious buildings across the UK and with these new grants we aim to ensure even more are secured for future generations to enjoy.”

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.

“Thanks to the joint working between the Heritage Lottery Fund and English Heritage these wonderful buildings, which mean so much to so many, will remain part of our story for years to come.”

Twitter: @SunderlandEcho

ST Andrew’s Church, in Roker, also known as “The Cathedral of the Arts and Crafts Movement”, is of national and international importance.

In the early 20th century when the seaside resort of Roker was growing, the need for a new church soon followed.

Local shipyard owner John Priestman was the main benefactor and the church, designed by Edward Prior, was built in 1906 and 1907.

Constructed of grey magnesium limestone quarried locally at Marsden, it is 165ft long with a east facing tower over 80ft high.

The church holds many treasures, including William Morris carpets, Ernest Grimson furniture and the painted ceiling in the sanctuary depicting the creation of the sun and stars, which is painted in “egg-tempera”.

There is also an impressive tapestry, by Burne-Jones, behind the main altar.

The subject is the “Adoration of the Magi” based on the Cologne legend and is one of several copies produced.

There are two magnificent stained glass windows in the church – the east window and the Lady Chapel window.