A much-loved Stoke-on-Trent church is to share in a £483,000 funding payout from the National Churches Trust.
A £7,000 National Churches Trust Cornerstone Grant will help fund the installation of a toilet and a refreshment area at the Grade II listed All Saints church in Joiners Square, Hanley, helping the church to better serve the local community.
The Revd Geoff Eze, Team Vicar at All Saints said: “The gift of this grant is going to ensure the future of the church building, for the community of Joiners Square, the city of Stoke on Trent and beyond.”
A total of 45 churches and chapels in England, Wales and Northern Ireland will benefit from the latest grants from the National Churches Trust, the charity supporting church buildings of all Christian denominations across the UK.
In 2020 the Trust has awarded 260 grants totalling £1,723,000, including recommendations on behalf of other funders with £200,000 of the funding provided by the Wolfson Foundation.
Grants will be available in 2021 to projects at churches, chapels and meeting houses and applications can be made by Christian places of worship in the UK that are open for regular worship. From repairing a roof to helping to install an accessible toilet - and many other projects - the National Churches Trust’s grants help keep churches open for worship and community activities and allow them to continue to serve local people and communities.
Part-funded by Meakin, a local potter, All Saints Church was rebuilt in 1911 on the site of the mid-19th century church and is a good example of Gerald Horsley's work. There is a lofty main nave and a north aisle that is on the foundations of the original church. This is used as the Lady Chapel and the east window is from the original building. The church has significant memorials to the First World War including the large east window in the chancel, the triptych on the main altar, and the memorial to the North Staffs Regiment. It also has fine embroidery from the Leek Embroideries Guild and there is an 'external' pulpit.
The church is amongst the largest in the Potteries being a focal point for Joiners Square, a community that had major mining and sanitary ware manufacture until the late 20th Century.
The project will support the installation of a toilet and a refreshment point within the Choir Vestry. Currently the church has no such facilities and without an accessible toilet, the church is not attractive to the wider community as a meeting venue. All Saints serves a community suffering with high levels of deprivation and the new facilities will enable it to offer more to the community it serves.
Broadcaster and journalist Huw Edwards, Vice President of The National Churches Trust, said: “The UK's historic churches and chapels are a vital part of our national heritage and have done so much to help local people during the COVID-19 lockdown. But to survive, many need to carry out urgent repairs and install modern facilities. The cost of this work is far beyond what most congregations can pay for themselves.
“So I’m delighted that All Saints church in Stoke on Trent is being helped with a £7,000 National Churches Trust Cornerstone Grant. The grant for this much-loved church will help secure the future of this important local building.”