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HLF Funding Press Release

St Michael and All Angels, Stoke Prior Bromsgrove wins National Lottery support

The National Lottery Heritage Fund has announced its support for the repairs and improved accessibility at an historic Grade I listed 12th Century Church in Stoke Prior Bromsgrove.

The Friends of the Church have been working tirelessly for four years to raise the necessary partnering funds for the project. They were delighted to have been advised in June 2020 that The National Lottery Heritage Fund had agreed to fund their project. The biggest restoration work since that done by the Victorians can now get underway.

The project aims to repair damage that the Church has suffered over its life including tower masonry that became detached in the Autumn of 2014. The project will also improve the access to the church bringing it fully compliant with the Equalities Act. The Revd. Canon Wyn Beynon, since his appointment as Priest in Charge, has repeatedly stated that all should be able to access the church without the need for any help.

The project will see essential repair work being done. During the project history talks will be given by the Revd. Canon Wyn Beynon and Friends of the Church. The varied and interesting history of St Michael and All Angels will be published in two new Guide Books, the second of which will be for younger visitors. An educational programme is also planned that give volunteers new skills on how to look after an historic building. In partnership with the Parish Council a noticeboard and interpretation panel will be installed in the conservation area of the Churchyard. This will show the abundance of wildlife there is and the variety of trees that can be admired.

The Church has become a focal point for the local community. This has been made possible by the Friends of the Church who have arranged a variety of fund raising events over the past 4 years. They plan to continue these with more exciting events already planned for the remainder of 2020 and 2021! This is to ensure the community benefit and are rewarded from what is an historic beautiful Church.

Commenting on the award, the Revd. Canon Wyn Beynon said: “We’re delighted that we’ve received this support thanks to The National Lottery Heritage Fund. With this support and the help of the community, we will be able to carry out the essential repairs to the church. It is particularly pleasing that we will be able to change the entrance into the church so that all can access and leave unaided. Thank you to everyone that have helped us on our journey and for your continued support. We will with this help be able to look forward to seeing St Michael and All Angels removed from the Heritage at Risk Register thanks to money raised by National Lottery players.”

Anne Jenkins, Director, England, Midlands & East at The National Lottery Heritage Fund, added: “Thanks to National Lottery Players, we are delighted to award St Michael and All Angels with a grant that not only carries out urgent repairs, but will ensure it is preserved for the community to years to come, with work hopefully leading to the church no longer being listed as Heritage at Risk. By improving accessibility for the church as well as creating resources aimed at new audiences we hope that the St Michael and All Angels will see many new visitors walk through its doors. We have been very proud to invest in Worcestershire’s heritage over the years in order for it to be showcased far and wide.”

 

Notes to editors About St Michael and All Angels

The Church is central to the community at Stoke Prior, Bromsgrove and open daily to visitors. The churchyard attracts a significant number of visitors due to its intense beautiful conservation area, abundant wildlife and being on the John Corbett (locally known as the Salt King) Way.

As an Anglican Church of England, it provides a variety of services at weekends and during the week. It is used for weddings, funerals and baptisms. In addition, the Friends of the Church have found exciting ways to open up what is a beautiful space for the local community (Population of Parish: 2500) and anyone further afield to experience e.g. Birmingham City University Students. The business networking breakfasts have been a particular success and will continue.

The Church is particularly pleased with how they have been able to foster links with local schools, Businesses, Parish Council, District Council, Dance Groups, Girl Guides and individuals from the local village to name just a few. The Friends’ future plans will see them build on this success.

About the National Lottery Heritage Fund

National Lottery Heritage Fund grant applications over £250,000 are assessed in two rounds. The Parochial Church Council project at St Michael and All Angels, Stoke Prior Bromsgrove had initially been granted round-one development funding of £50,100 by The National Lottery Heritage Fund, allowing it to progress with its plans. Detailed proposals were considered by The National Lottery Heritage Fund for delivery phase of the project at their June 2020 Investment Committee meeting. The Investment Committee decision was to award the full funding required of £334,000.

Using money raised by the National Lottery, we Inspire, lead and resource the UK’s heritage to create positive and lasting change for people and communities, now and in the future. www.heritagefund.org.uk.

 

Follow @HeritageFundUK on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and use #NationalLotteryHeritageFund 

Further information

For further information, images and interviews please contact St Michael and All Angels Project Manager, Gary Stokes on 01527 577069 or email at gary.stokes@stokesassociates.com