Christmas funding boost for Berkshire church

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A rural Berkshire church will be celebrating this Christmas as the National Churches Trust has confirmed a grant of £15,000.

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Summer celebration as St Leonard’s receives funding boost


A  Buckinghamshire church is to receive a £20,000 National Churches Trust Cornerstone Grant for repairs to its roof, masonry, guttering and downpipes.

St Leonard's, Grendon Underwood

St Leonard’s Grendon Underwood. Photo: The National Churches Trust

The Grade II* listed St Leonard’s Church, Grendon Underwood, will be watertight and its historic fabric will be preserved by the work. The lead roof will be replaced with slate tiles.

Broadcaster and journalist Huw Edwards, Vice President of The National Churches Trust, said: “The UK’s historic churches and chapels are a vital part of our national heritage, but to survive, many need urgent repairs and modern facilities. The cost of this work is far beyond what most congregations can pay for themselves. I am, therefore, delighted that St Leonard’s, Grendon Underwood is being helped with a £20,000 National Churches Trust Cornerstone Grant. The work will help to secure the future of an historic building and may also help to remove the church from the Historic England Heritage at Risk Register.

Records about the church date back to 1223. Part of the nave is probably from the 12th Century and the chancel dates back from the 14th Century. The tower was built around 1460. There are wooden panels on the side of the pulpit which date back from the 1620s and there are three marble monuments commemorating local dignitaries dating back to the 18th Century.

The Revd David Hiscock, the team rector, said: “We are delighted to receive this support from the National Churches Trust. The church continues to be the focal point of the village for worship. In recent years we have organised live entertainment, public meetings, breakfasts and hot lunches in winter and afternoon teas in summer. It is fantastic to know that once this work is complete, we will have a building for future generations to enjoy.”

The latest National Churches Trust grants will benefit 46 churches and chapels in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. The charity supports the maintenance of church buildings of all Christian denominations across the UK.

Last year, the National Churches Trust helped support 202 projects with grants of £1.2 million. 23 churches and chapels were removed from the Heritage at Risk Register in 2018 with the support of the Trust’s grants.
Churches and chapels open for regular public worship (i.e. more than six services a year) and in England, Wales, Northern Ireland, Scotland, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands can apply for a grant from the National Churches Trust.

The celebration of the completion of the new roof for All Saints Church, Wytham.


All Saint's, WythamTHE congregation at All Saints’ Church Wytham is getting ready for a celebration after the completion of a five year £120,000 project for a new roof.

A £51,700 Heritage Lottery grant and money raised by the Friends of All Saints funded the new roof, after the old one was found to be in need of  repair back in January 2011. The most urgent work was carried out in March of that year, and the fundraising campaign was launched. Work began in August 2015 after the Bat Conservation Trust had monitored the bat colony in the roof and granted permission.

The new roof was completed in November 2015.  The work, which included the replacement of the chancel cross, which had long been missing, was carried out by local firm Woodstock Roofing.

Other charities that made donations were:

  • The Gladiator Trust
  • Bartlett Taylor Charitable Trust
  • Mr & Mrs J.A.Pye’s Charitable Settlement
  • Garfield Weston Foundation
  • Oxford Historic Churches Trust                                 

No more drips at St Brits


AFTER years of patching up the slipped and broken tiles and of strategically placing buckets and towels on the pews and over the hymn books, St Britius Church Brize Norton has a beautiful new roof.St Britius's Church, Brize Norton

The re-roofing of this Grade 2* listed building has been a huge undertaking, costing almost £400,000. A dedicated team set up the ‘Stop the drips at St Brits’ campaign, and worked tirelessly, organising events and applying for grants. The people of the village really got behind the project and turned out to support the many and varied events, which ranged from pancake suppers to balls and a beer festival.

The project was generously supported by English Heritage, WREN (Waste Recycling Environmental Ltd) and the Oxfordshire Historic Churches Trust. Grants and donations were also received from the Garfield Weston Foundation, the Wolfson Foundation, Allchurches Trust and the Bartlett Taylor Trust as well as RAF Brize Norton Charities Committee and other local businesses and individuals.

The Rt Reverend Colin Fletcher, the Bishop of Dorchester,  joined the congregation and villagers for a Songs of Praise and Thanksgiving on Sunday 16th June to celebrate the completion of the beautiful new roof. Jacquie Griffin, the Churchwarden said: “This church has stood at the centre of Brize Norton for 900 years, providing continuity and a focal point for the whole community. It is wonderful that we can now pass it on in a sound and secure state for future generations to enjoy.”The only way is up!