The Catholic Bishops’ Conference has announced funding for 29 Grade I and Grade II* listed churches and cathedrals throughout England after receiving £3m from the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund.
The grants programme is part of the government’s Heritage Stimulus Fund, administered by Historic England and is aimed at supporting major repair projects which either stalled earlier this year because of Covid-19.
Westminster Cathedral is to receive nearly £300k for brickwork conservation and to address urgently needed repairs. St Chad’s Cathedral in Birmingham will be able to install a much-needed new fire alarm system with a grant of £92,900 and Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral will be able to restore the stained glass of its Blessed Sacrament Chapel designed by Ceri Richards.
Other Cathedrals being supported include Nottingham where a 40-year-old boiler urgently needs replacing and Norwich Cathedral which has a number of targeted repair projects including the long overdue renewal of its main power supply cabling.
In Preston, the Cathedral of St Alphonsa – formerly the Jesuit church of St Ignatius where the priest and poet Gerard Manley Hopkins once served – is to receive just over £135k for urgent roof repairs and to address a serious outbreak of dry rot. St Alphonsa is the Cathedral of the Syro-Malabar Catholic Eparchy.
Churches where repairs are being supported include the Georgian church of St Patrick’s, Toxteth, built in 1821; EW Pugin’s masterpiece, All Saints, Barton-upon-Irwell at Trafford Park, Manchester; St Michael’s, Elswick in Newcastle-upon-Tyne; and St Joseph’s, Pontefract.
The Archbishop of Cardiff, George Stack said: “It is marvellous that so many of our outstanding historic churches will be helped with the cost of much needed repairs.”
Picture: Westminster Cathedral. (Mazur/cbcew.org.uk).