June 11, 2018
Churches across the region have shared a £76,000 payout from the Gloucestershire Historic Churches Trust this month. The money will help 25 congregations pay for projects ranging from roof repairs to rehanging bells and creating loos and kitchens to make buildings more accessible and functional for the communities they serve.
“We’re delighted to be able to contribute towards so many deserving projects right across Gloucestershire, South Glos and Bristol”, said GHCT Grants Chairman Jonathan MacKechnie-Jarvis. “GHCT’s grants can be a lifeline for churches struggling to meet the costs involved with keeping these expensive buildings open and useful to their communities.”
The biggest single grant of £10,000 has been awarded to St Gregory’s Roman Catholic Church in Cheltenham, which is undergoing a major internal restoration project costing £450,000. This is the principal Catholic church in the town, welcoming hundreds of people to a mass each Sunday. The church is open every day, regularly hosting concerts and school visits.
Peeling paintwork, flaking plaster, a sagging hardboard ceiling and dated lighting system are just a few of the problems needing attention. Renovations in the sacristry will make this space safe and functional.
Parish Priest Fr David Mills said “The parish community of St Gregory the Great in Cheltenham is extremely grateful for GHCT’s very generous allocation of £10,000. The church is one of the town’s Victorian gems and this grant will help restore the building to more closely resemble the striking church that architect Charles Hansom originally envisaged. The project will also ensure the building’s future as primarily a place of worship for a large and vibrant community as well as a cultural asset to Cheltenham.”
St Andrew’s, Avonmouth received £8000 towards a refurbishment project, and St Peter, Newnham was awarded £7500 towards rehanging the bells. Details of all the grants awarded can be found at ghct.org.uk/grants.
All churches in the region are encouraged to support GHCT by taking part in the annual sponsored Ride+Stride event on Saturday 8 September. It’s a fun day out – either walking, cycling or driving between our beautiful historic churches – and the money raised is split between the Trust and individual churches. For more details visit ghct.org.uk/ride-and-stride.
St Andrew, Avonmouth
Work underway at St Gregory, Cheltenham