Southwold church boosted by £220,000 restoration grant to 'secure future for generations to come'
PUBLISHED: 14:48 01 January 2019 | UPDATED: 15:34 01 January 2019
A Southwold church has received a significant Christmas present this year with a £220,000 grant to repair and restore the Grade II listed building.
Sacred Heart Church’s ‘Crowning and Warming the Sacred Heart of Southwold’ heritage project has been greatly boosted by a National Lottery grant of £210,000 and a grant of £10,000 from Historic England.
The grants add significantly to funds already provided by the Parish and the Southwold Trust and will enable the repair and restoration of the church.
Parish priest Roger de Lacy-Spencer, said: “These generous grants will ensure the church can continue to welcome parishioners and visitors.
“The church is very much part of the Southwold scene and this grant will enable more people to come and share it with us.”
Investigations in 2015 revealed serious structural problems with the Grade II listed building, with the National Lottery Fund providing £40,000 towards the £52,000 that was needed to make the tower of the church safe and to discover the reasons for the structural problems.
With the new funding and the extra £10,000 from Historic England, work will now begin to deliver permanent repairs, as well as other improvements, such as heritage activities and displays to enable more people to learn about and engage with the history of the building.
Parish project manager, Cedric Burton, said: “This is a very exciting opportunity for us and will not only secure its future for generations to come, but also to describe its purpose and mission and to enable people to see the building in the context of its location and the history of the area.”
Work will start in the next few months to repair the roof and structure of the tower, replace damaged stonework and manage more effectively the disposal of rain water.
Key improvements will include new lighting to enhance the important pictures in the church, interpretation of the church building using digital technology and the provision of a viewing platform at the top of the tower with an explanation of the history and geography of Southwold and its surroundings.
Robyn Llewellyn, head of HLF East of England, said: “We are delighted to support this important project which will help to protect a very special building.”