A Stoke-on-Trent church has received an early Christmas present a £20,000 grant to carry out urgent repairs and replacement works.
All Saints in Hanley will benefit from the grant from the National Churches Trust, the UKs church repair and support charity.
The Grade II listed building, which is close to the Emma Bridgewater factory, has been awarded 20,000 for urgent roof repairs and to replace rainwater goods such as gutters and drain pipes. This will prevent further deterioration and help the church develop as a centre for performance, exhibitions and education.
Having suffered from a lack of maintenance for a number of years and been at threat of closure, All Saints is now on the cusp of an exciting period of redevelopment after previously getting 240,900 of Heritage Lottery funding as part of the wider restoration project.
All Saints vicar Revd Geoff Eze said: This news is very encouraging. My hope is that this funding will contribute to a purposeful redevelopment of All Saints that can benefit not only long-time parishioners and members but serve the community of Joiners Square and the wider Stoke area in a manner that is inspiring and refreshing."
Part-funded by Alfred 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. The church is among the largest in the Potteries and is a focal point for Joiners Square, a community that had major mining and sanitary ware manufacture until the late 20th century. The area has a long history as a settlement at a main crossroads in Stoke-on-Trent.
All Saints 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 (all pictured above).
Broadcaster and Journalist Huw Edwards, Vice-President of the National Churches Trust said: I'm delighted that this Christmas the future of All Saints, Hanley, is being safeguarded by a National Churches Trust grant to fund urgent repairs. This funding will help ensure that this historic place of worship continues to serve local people for many years to come.
Churches and chapels are some of the UK's best loved buildings. But their future is not guaranteed. This Christmas, when people visit a church or chapel for a carol service or even just walk past a church on the way to do the Christmas shopping, I urge them to think about how they can help ensure that churches can remain open and in good repair.
Everyone can make a contribution to the future of the UK's church and chapel buildings. That could be by helping to clear drains and gutters to help keep churches watertight or by keeping an eye out for vandals or thieves.
Churches and chapels may be historic buildings, but they can be part of our future, too.