At our AGM in April 2018 our Grants Secretary, Jeffrey Couzens, reported that since the last Trustees’ meeting there had been a steady flow of enquiries, although, with funding generally tight, completed applications were more limited.
We had received two applications in connection with roof re-covering projects (following lead theft) which relate to problems found when the original method of construction had been exposed and found to be breaking down.
We also received an application, the first in five years, from a Methodist church. This was from Timberland who had an exciting programme to re-order and repair the building to make it more relavant for the community and today’s needs. We helped them with a grant of £3,500 towards the installation of a WC suitable for disabled users.
We were involved with two churches, at risk and threatened with closure, which have been saved by their communities and are now being put back into good repair and regular use.
The first was St Andrew at Utterby, where the village formed a Friends Association who raised almost £200,000 to save the building ~ a magnificent effort on their part. We helped with a grant of £5,000 towards extensive repairs to the walls and roof.
The other was St Margaret, Thimbleby, which the Diocese had identified for possible closure. The whole community rallied round and raised sufficient funds to carefully dismantle the dangerous spire for safety, lift the closure notice and open the church again. Extensive fundraising since then resulted in a project to rebuild the spire. We awarded an initial grant of £3,000 towards this with a further reserved grant of £7,000 towards planned roof repairs.
Since April 2017 we had awarded a total of £27,500 in grants, of which two totalling £5,500 had been completed and paid out. There were. as of April 2018, seven projects in progress and eight applications pending.
Jeffrey reiterated that he will always encourage applicants to contact him, through the details given in the Contacts section this website, at as early a stage in their plans as possible for a discussion.