Shrewsbury's St Chad’s Church awarded £207,000 grant

A Grade I listed church which stands in the heart of Shrewsbury has been awarded a major grant which will allow important restoration work to be carried out.

Custodians of St Chad’s Church heard this week that they had been awarded £207,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).

The grant means that the church, which is currently on the Historic England At Risk register, would undergo extensive repair work to its roof, stonework and insulation. The cash will also allow for further community, education and tourism projects to be developed.

This will include a new sound system, loop system, projector and new interpretational material for schools, colleges and visitors to use.

The whole project will cost £270,000 and additional funds have been secured from The Friends of St. Chad’s Memorial Fund, The Owen Family Trust and The Listed Places of Work Grant Scheme.

It is hoped that work on the church, which was built in 1792, will start later this month and completed by July.

The sound system, education, tourism and community initiatives will be completed by the autumn..

The church, with its circular shape and high tower, dominates the Shrewsbury skyline and attracts thousands of visitors each year.

During December 2016 the church welcomed 10,000 visitors during its Christmas Tree Festival which saw 57 sponsored trees dotted around the building with many schools, colleges and musical groups taking.

The church hosts University graduation ceremonies, school speech days, public lectures and major civic occasions like Mayor Making Ceremonies, Remembrance Sunday and Battle of Britain Events. The acoustics and auditorium accommodates 1,300 people make it suitable for hosting large public concerts and major services..

Father Mark Chadwick, vicar of St Chad’s, said he was delighted to receive confirmation of the grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund as well as the matched funding through the Friends of St. Chad’s. “It is a great relief that repair work can now be carried out on our iconic building. It will help to ensure the external integrity of the building for many years to come. I am also excited that 15 per cent of the total grant money can be spent on extending our work for the community and especially in projects which will involve young people, visitors and the more vulnerable members of our society.”

Vanessa Harbar, head of HLF West Midlands, said: “We’re delighted to be able to support St Chad’s to not only carry out much needed repairs, but also to enhance their cultural and educational offer. Thanks to National Lottery players, the church will be better placed to serve its community and can continue to establish itself as a regional centre for music and the arts.”

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