St Michael and All Angel Church Awarded National Lottery Support to repair building and involve community in heritage activities
St Michaels Church Shefford has received a Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) grant of £219,400 to repair the church tower, to make it safe and structurally sound, and deliver activities for local people and visitors to learn about and celebrate Shefford’s heritage.
Thanks to National Lottery players, the 14th century building will benefit from improved energy-efficient lighting and a more welcoming and accessible entrance area, with the existing heavy wooden doors to be replaced with wider glass doors.
As well as offering worship throughout the week, the church acts as a community hub. Standing at the heart of the town, it is well-placed to involve the community in heritage activities and share the story of the building through a new guide book and walking tours.
Local school students will be involved in recording oral histories of people’s memories of Shefford, and creatively interpreting the history of the church through decorated ceramic tiles.
The church and its tower are cherished by the community as the oldest preserved building in the town and St Michael’s is deeply grateful for the generous support of local schools, businesses and other organisations which are supporting the project through volunteering and financial contributions; the total cost is £306,250.
More information about the project and its supporters is displayed in church.
Commenting on the award, Pat Goulding, Church Warden, said: “We’re delighted to have received this support; the restoration would have been impossible without this grant. We look forward to seeing the tower restored, and to recording and sharing Shefford’s heritage with local people and visitors”.
Robyn Llewellyn, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund East of England said, “This wonderful project is a great illustration of how lottery players' money is helping to bring together heritage and communities. The project will help protect a very special building and now even more people will get to share the beautiful space and its stories.”
Source: Patricia Goulding; Churchwarden
Date: 16th July 2018