Church handed £50,000 restoration boost

St Cuthbert Church: Work should begin in the spring.
St Cuthbert Church: Work should begin in the spring.
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VILLAGERS in Fishlake will see their beautiful medieval church restored to its former glory after more than 25 years of improvement works, thanks to a £50,000 grant .

The grant awarded to St Cuthbert Church from not-for-profit company WREN, is part of a new Heritage Fund which aims to protect grade one and two star listed buildings and structures of historical importance across the UK.

Money is awarded to community, conservation and heritage projects within a 10-mile radius of landfill sites, from funds donated by Waste Recycling Group (WRG) to the Landfill Communities Fund.

The church, built in the 12th century, is in the third stage of restoration work, which has been ongoing since 1985, after grant support from English Heritage and the Heritage Lottery Fund. WREN’s grant means the long-term restoration project can finally be completed after 25 years.

Money will fund repairs to the chancel roof and re-glaze windows in the clerestory.

So far the church tower has had a new roof and the knave windows have been re-glazed along with extensive rewiring.

The work will happen alongside other projects being carried out by a group of retired villagers.

These have included the alteration of the west end and re-flagging of a large area of the floor with money from fundraising.

The group also plans to put a toilet in the vestry to enable more people to visit.

Peter Cox, managing director of WREN, said: “WREN makes a difference to people’s lives by awarding grants to community, environmental and heritage projects across the UK.

“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.

“We’re delighted to support the restoration and look forward to the completion of this stage of the project.”

n Fishlake Church is one of nine projects awarded a grant from WREN’s Heritage Fund scheme in 2011.