Lottery money helps to restore Grade I features
COULD some of the pinnacles of an eighteenth century Warwick church be being used as ornamental features in town gardens?
This is one of the questions being posed by the vicar of St Nicholas church, Rev Linda Duckers, and Robert Perkins, one of the members of the parochial church council.
Last year the large pinnacles above the church’s tower were restored to their former glory after a three year long fundraising drive.
But now church members have to start all over again as the ten smaller pinnacles that used to stand above the nave are replaced. These were removed 40 years ago after one of them fell down. But recent surveys show their weight was part of the structural integrity of the church, built in 1785.
“It could well be that one or two of these attractive pinnacles are now standing in local gardens - and if that’s the case we’d love to be able to show them to our architect,” says Mr Perkins.
It’s now two weeks since Mr Perkins and Rev Duckers learned they had been granted a total of £109,000 from the Heritage Lottery towards the cost of the latest restoration of the Grade I listed building.
Nearby, the Collegiate Church of St Mary received the Heritage Lottery’s top national award of £324,000 from the fund, which is administered by English Heritage.
But Rev Duckers is pleased with the regional award, made up of £89,000 towards building costs plus a further £20,000 towards development costs. Even though this means another fundraising appeal to match-fund to the tune of £105,000. This will be done from a combination of reserves, further grant applications plus an estimated £20,000 in local fundraising.
Rev Duckers said: “It is most important that such a special heritage building be restored to its proper state. This is not merely as a church worship centre but, equally significantly, it is an extremely useful community asset.
“The whole nave is a flexible area and is increasingly used for educational, social and musical functions. The outstanding acoustic in the main church is attracting more musical performances and rehearsals, not to mention our new combination organ.”
Mr Perkins admits: “It’s a tall order to have to face another major repair project only three years after we were at the same stage with our emergency spire repairs. But no effort is too much to maintain and conserve what is a most unusual Grade I building.”
Mr Perkins is hoping they will be able to find the bulk of the match-funding by November so that work can start on the first five of the ten pinnacles by next summer.
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Sunday 19 May 2013
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