Funding granted for church's repair project

PUBLISHED: 12:00 19 April 2019 | UPDATED: 11:27 23 April 2019

St Mary's Church in Portbury will be among the venues open during thw weekend. Picture: Bill Shier.

St Mary's Church in Portbury will be among the venues open during thw weekend. Picture: Bill Shier.

Archant

A historic church in Portbury has been awarded a grant to carry out major repairs to the listed building and set up a heritage centre.

The church has been awarded a grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund.The church has been awarded a grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

St Mary's Church, in Church Lane, has received National Lottery funding to pay for urgent repairs to the walls, windows and Berkley Chapel floor.

The money will also be put towards an activity programme aimed at encouraging more people to learn about the building's history.

Churchwarden, Ann Longstaff, said: “After nearly a thousand years, it is time to carry out some major repairs to our 12th century grade-I listed building.

“It has taken us two years to reach this stage with the help of The National Lottery Heritage Fund, fundraising events and other grants received.”

The church was given a grant of £22,461 from the National Lottery Heritage Fund to carry out initial investigations and develop plans for the project to apply for a full grant.

The full grant of £200,100 has been awarded which will be put towards the £290,980 overall cost of the project which includes a new, glazed inner door and a heritage centre inside the church.

Ann added: “We are indebted to local historians who have donated their life's work to us and some of the children from St Mary's School will be working on a children's section at the heritage centre.

“We are so grateful too for student help from the department of medieval studies at Bristol University.

“It is exciting we have received so much encouragement and support for our project from the band of volunteers who work so hard behind the scenes and further grants received from the Berkeley Estate, Somerset Churches Trust, ChurchCare, Awards For All, The Headley Trust (Sainsburys), The Diocesan Fund For Church Growth and All Churches Trust Ltd.”

The church will still be open for normal services during the repair work and once the project has been completed, the usual weekly groups will be able to meet at the venue.

Events and concerts will take place at the church to celebrate the completed project. The first event is a concert from the Bristol Harmony Choir on May 18 at 7.30pm..

The church is also taking part in the North Somerset Arts trail and Gordano Open Days.

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