Diocese of Chichester

Churches get boost from the Culture Recovery Fund

Two churches in the diocese are among 142 historic sites across England are receiving grants worth £35 million thanks to the government’s Culture Recovery Fund

On 4 nov 2021

In Diocese of Chichester

By communications

St Mary Kemp Town, Brighton and Christ Church, St Leonard’s will receive funds awarded by Historic Englandfrom the second round of the Heritage Stimulus Fund, bolstering local economies and supporting jobs across the country.

Fr Andrew Woodward, Vicar of St Mary’s Kemp Town, said:

“This funding comes at a time when our resources are stretched and offers the opportunity for us to complete further work to windows in the liturgical south elevation which are in need of urgent repair. The Lady Chapel is used extensively for prayer and for our midweek services. The windows, with the polycarbonate sheeting removed, will enhance the space and restore the ambience as intended by the Architect, Sir William Emerson. This will benefit the many users of the building and enliven the experience for our visitors. It will also ensure that this sacred space will remain transformative for this generation and for the generations that will follow us”.

Bishop Peter Wheatley, Priest-in-Charge, Christ Church, St Leonards comments:

'This new grant feels like manna from heaven.Last year we began in faith a £600,000 programme to restore Christ Church in time for our 150th anniversary in 2025. We are going to make a bid to NLHF soon for more work to the Church fabric with an engagement and education programme.We want the Church to stand for the benefit of the community for another 150 years.”

Money from the government’s £2 billion Culture Recovery Fund is intended to open up heritage and the benefits it brings to everyone, helping to level up and improve life and opportunities for people in places that need it most.

Many of the organisations and sites receiving funding enhance wellbeing and community connection, offering education, development opportunities and jobs in some of the most deprived communities hit hard by the impact of the pandemic.

Duncan Wilson, Historic England’s Chief Executive, said:

Funding from the government’s Culture Recovery Fund is hugely welcome at a time when the people and organisations who look after our vast and varied array of heritage urgently need support to carry out essential repairs. Heritage is a fragile eco-system, with an amazing cast of characters who keep our historic places alive, with specialist skills that take time to learn and experience to perfect. These grants will protect their livelihoods, as they use their expertise to help our heritage survive.”

Money from the Heritage Stimulus Fund will also keep our nationally and internationally significant heritage assets in good condition and sustain the skilled craft workforce that looks after them.

The latest £35 million funding awards builds on £52 million already allocated from the first round of the Heritage Stimulus Fund, which has supported works at 800 of the country’s treasured heritage assets. This includes Blackpool’s iconic Tower Ballroom, the stunning Georgian landscape at Gibside in Gateshead and the tranquil Thornton-le-Beans Chapel in North Yorkshire.

None of these historic places would have been able to carry out crucial repair work during the pandemic without this support.

Christ Church St Leonard's
Christ Church St Leonard's
A window at St Mary Kemptown
A window at St Mary Kemptown