A £272,000 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund has been awarded to St Wulfram’s Church in Grantham to boost its Spire Appeal.
With news of the grant, the appeal has now raised half of the £600,000 it needs to repair the crumbling spire.
Canon Christopher Andrews, rector of St Wulfram’s, said: “It’s great news. We felt we had done the best possible job with the application and I am glad to have this confirmed. It would have been surprising if we had not got much money or none at all because of the importance of this magnificent building and this gives us great encouragement.
“We have still got a hefty amount of money to find and would like the people of Grantham to keep supporting us. They have been very generous so far.”
Canon Andrews said the grant would be awarded in two parts. The first smaller grant would enable preparatory work to be done and then the rest of the grant would be made available, but there is a two-year limit meaning the fundraising committee has to work to a deadline. But the grant, administered by English Heritage, will allow the fundraisers to apply to other bodies for money with greater confidence.
St Wulfram’s is a Grade I listed building and its steeple rises to 86m. The original Norman church was the subject of an ambitious building project in the 13th century following a fire and the tower and spire were built during the 14th century. This grant will enable urgent repairs to the spire, as its iron cramps have rusted and expanded, causing the top of the spire to become displaced. The top 16ft, which was repaired in 1947 and is in good condition, will be removed and set aside for re-use, then the next 24ft which displays the recent problems will be dismantled and rebuilt.
As part of the fundraising, two concerts will be staged in the church on June 26 and 27, featuring talented pupils from 19 primary schools and four secondary schools. The event will be called Inspiring Grantham - a celebration of Grantham’s Young Talent.
For more information go to www.savegranthamspire.org