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First Round Press Release - Summer 2016

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St Paul’s, Woodhouse Eaves wins amazing Heritage Lottery Fund support to investigate and repair large cracks in the chancel wall of this iconic Grade 2* Listed village church.

St Paul’s Church in Woodhouse Eaves, Leicestershire has received initial support* from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for the Chancel Repair Project, it was announced today. The project aims to carry out repair works to the historic fabric resulting in a return to a safe environment and the restoration of the chancel and vestry interiors of this fine Grade 2* church. Ground investigations will commence as soon as possible during the initial Development Phase for which £20,000 has been awarded.

If successful in the next round of the applications a further £94,200 will be awarded to complete the repair during Spring 2017.

The project aims to carry out essential repair work to the building, but just as importantly to promote and celebrate the wealth of heritage to be found within the church and its surroundings. As a result of HLF investment, the church will be brought back to good sound repair and its heritage will be saved for the benefit of all. The project will make the building more relevant to the community and it is envisaged that it will be more widely used by children and adults of all ages with the common aim of learning about and enjoying the heritage that until now they may not have been aware of.

The church website will be updated and expanded with opportunities to learn new skills in historical research and to gain an understanding of conservation. The whole community will be invited to take part in a range of activities to discover the heritage and build a display of photos and artefacts that show the historical importance of this church. Visitors will see the difference in the church and the hard work of all the community and their undoubted enthusiasm in sharing the beauty of this listed building.

St Paul’s is a Church of England parish church built in 1837 and designed by William Railton, the architect for Nelson’s Column and nearby
Beaumanor Hall. The chancel, with significant stained glass windows by nationally noted artist Theodora Salusbury, forms part of an 1871 extension. In 1880 the north and south transepts were added; designed by Ewan Christian. In 1904 a peal of six bells built by Taylor’s Bell Foundry in Loughborough was added to commemorate Queen Victoria. In the same year the clock was installed by Messrs. J. Smith and Sons of Derby. It is still working now and is highly regarded in the village and known as the parish clock. The church is a beautiful building, much loved by the local community and known as the “church on the hill.”

Commenting on the award, Spokesperson Colonel Robert Martin said: “We’re delighted that the Heritage Lottery Fund has given us this support. St Paul’s joyously received the wonderful news that the application to HLF had been successful.

Investigations into why the chancel was suffering from cracking and slippage had been going on for a decade, but the cause of the damage, the solution to it and the cost of the repair only became apparent when Historic England came to the rescue and steered the Church Council towards achieving their goal. The grant, combined with funds the church has raised from generous donors, will enable work to start to rectify the problem and secure the church for future generations.”

Rector of St Paul’s, The Rev’d Lisa Temperley-Barnes said “Once again the power of prayer has been successful and we look forward to the day when we can hold our services and worship God without the threat of the chancel collapsing”.

Jonathan Platt, Head of HLF East Midlands, said: “This is an important building with a fascinating history which lies at the heart of the local community. Thanks to National Lottery players, our support will help address urgent conservation needs and ensure the heritage of the church is shared widely. We look forward to seeing how plans develop over the coming months.”

Notes to editors:

About St Paul’s Parochial Church Council

The Parochial Church Council is led by the Rector, Rev’d Lisa Temperley-Barnes and has a mixed membership of clergy and community. Presently, there are 16 members in total.

William Leeson, Churchwarden, is the named client representative for the PCC in all matters relating to the project. Members of the council have worked together to achieve the successful outcome of the application and are now beginning the exciting task of taking both the repair work and the heritage activities forward with the support of the local community.