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Long Bennington Church receives funds for repairs




From left, Phil Owen, Mary Dring, Carl Andrews, David Andrews and Rev Harriet Orridge.
From left, Phil Owen, Mary Dring, Carl Andrews, David Andrews and Rev Harriet Orridge.

A village church has received initial funding support from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for essential structural repairs to the church building.

A village church has received initial funding support from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for essential structural repairs to the church building.

Three years ago, the Parochial Church Council (PCC) at St Swithun’s Church, Long Bennington, embarked on a range of projects costing in excess of £250,000 to repair the church and to sustain its ministry and role in the local community over the coming years.

A new church path and associated lighting was installed last year, whilst a major restoration of the church organ was completed three months ago. Work to stabilise the North Aisle wall and repair and recover the Chancel Roof is now underway.

HLF will initially grant development funding of £16,900, to permit the planning and design of the work to be undertaken.

Detailed proposals are then considered by HLF at a second round, where a final decision is made on the full funding award £159,700.

The PCC held an award annoucement event at the church last Thursday to announce the funding, which was attended by everyone involved in the project, members of the local village community and representatives from local businesses.

Phil Owen, who lives in Long Bennington, said: “Without the Lottery Players, St Swithun’s Church would have had a very challenging future just to stay open.”

Mollie Gardiner, who also lives in Long Bennington, added: “Without the funds from those who play the Lottery, the village could have lost its church. We cannot afford to lose its activities and influence in the village, and the many events that the PCC organises.”

Chair of Long Bennington Parish Council, Gareth Dawkins, said: “It is nice to know that National Lottery players have helped to preserve the traditional way of life in Long Bennington for many years to come.”

Ultimately it is hoped that the HLF will provide 70 per cent of the project funds, £159,700, and that all the works can be completed by the end of 2019.

The HLF is the largest dedicated funder of heritage in the UK. Thanks to National Lottery players, they invest money to help people across the UK explore, enjoy and protect the heritage they care about - from the archaeology under our feet to historic parks and buildings.

For more information, visit: www.hlf.org.uk.



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