TV's Huw Edwards welcomes Easter cash boost to help mend leaky roof at Preston's St Walburge church

Preston’s historic St Walburge church has scooped £10,000 to help mend the leaky roof with help of broadcaster Huw Edwards.

Sunday, 17th April 2022, 11:32 am

The National Churches Trust Cornerstone Grant will help fund urgent repair work to the roof of St Walburge and help keep the Grade I Listed church at the heart of the local community.

The funding will help remove the church from the Historic England ‘Heritage at Risk’ register.

Broadcaster and journalist Huw Edwards, Vice President of The National Churches Trust, said: “I’m delighted that the magnificent church of St Walburge, with its amazing spire, is being helped with a £10,000 National Churches Trust Cornerstone Grant.

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Huw Edwards at St Walburges, Preston. A £10,000 National Churches Trust Cornerstone Grant will help fund urgent repair work to the roof of St Walburge and help keep the Grade I Listed church at the heart of the local community. The funding will help remove the church from the Historic England ‘Heritage at Risk’ register.

“The funding will help fund urgent repairs, safeguard unique local heritage and help keep the church open and in use for the benefit of local people.”

64 churches and chapels in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland will benefit from the latest grants from the National Churches Trust, the charity supporting church buildings of all Christian denominations across the UK. £134,000 of funding for the grants has been provided by the Wolfson Foundation.

This is the first round of grants made by the National Churches Trust this year.

Last year the Trust has awarded, or recommended on behalf of other funders, 304 grants amounting to £5.6 million.

The famous St Walburge spire. A £10,000 National Churches Trust Cornerstone Grant will help fund urgent repair work to the roof of St Walburge and help keep the Grade I Listed church at the heart of the local community. The funding will help remove the church from the Historic England ‘Heritage at Risk’ register.

The majestic spire of St Walburge's rises in the heart of Preston and is an extraordinary example of Gothic revival.

The interior is 165 ft. long and 55 ft. wide and has a steeply pitched roof supported by 14 hammer beam trusses, the wall brackets of which support life-sized statues of the figures of saints.

Joseph Aloysius Hansom, the designer of the famous Hansom Cab, was the architect.

The church is in the Diocese of Lancaster and was entrusted to the care of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest, a community originally from Gabon, now based in Florence, Tuscany. Since 2014, the missionaries of the Institute have taken to heart to serve the wider community and to invite the public to come and discover this jewel of architecture and art.

The interior of St Walburge. A £10,000 National Churches Trust Cornerstone Grant will help fund urgent repair work to the roof of St Walburge and help keep the Grade I Listed church at the heart of the local community. The funding will help remove the church from the Historic England ‘Heritage at Risk’ register.

Currently, with the support of Historic England, and the Bishops' Conference of England and Wales, the church has started much needed repair work. This first phase of work includes repairs to a major part of the south roof. In the future the rest of the roof will be repaired as well.

The current project will cost over £378,000 and the church has also received £252,210 through the Bishops' Conference under Historic England’s Heritage Stimulus Fund.

Sam, one of the volunteers said: “The whole community thanks our supporters and in particular the National Churches Trust. It is a pity to see all the buckets in the church when it rains...and this happens sometimes in Preston even if the weather is good several times a day!...

"Match funding is always a challenge for the community, we do a lot here but the support of the National Churches Trust is truly a blessing!"

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