A major part of the satisfaction derived from being so closely involved with the work of the Trust is the opportunity to visit so many wonderful churches, not just at the time grant applications are being made but also on completion of the relevant works for which a grant may have been awarded. It is gratifying to witness the positive results of the efforts applied by everybody involved in bringing a project through to a successful conclusion, whether they be the architect, the contractor and of course most importantly the incumbent and their team and their congregation.
Repair work continues to represent the main recipient of our grants and whilst leaking roofs or tower repairs may not be readily visible to the casual observer, their importance to the maintenance of the fabric and the continuing use of the building as a vibrant and uplifting place of worship cannot be ignored. I would particularly like to highlight from recent awards the successful outcome at St John’s, Bridgwater. The church is within a challenging urban environment where until the present incumbent, Lis Sparrow, arrived some six years ago, the congregation had been dwindling and the condition of the church itself was deteriorating. Both lighting and heating were improved through local resources but last year it became apparent that a major failure of the tower roof could no longer be ignored by the judicious distribution of buckets beneath. Lis embarked upon the herculean task of raising in excess of £100k, which she achieved in a matter of a few months and, against the further challenges of the pandemic, the work has recently been completed. Her determination and commitment are an inspiration to us all and it’s pleasing to note that not only is the church now light, warm and dry but is also witnessing a significant increase in its congregation and in the outreach work being undertaken in the local community. The Trust is delighted to have made a contribution to support this project and the work of this church in the local community.
Anthony Sutcliffe – Grants Secretary