12th century Shropshire chapel is feeling flush
A 12th century chapel in south Shropshire has received a grant to provide an innovative solution to a basic necessity missing from the building – toilets.
The chapel in Heath, near Bouldon, hosts services and community activities for nearby houses and surrounding villages. At almost 1,000 years old, it also attracts a large number of visitors keen to view its architecture.
With the help of some temporary toilets, the chapel successfully hosted a party celebrating the Royal Wedding last year.
Recognising the opportunity to put on more events, and with the nearest facilities three miles away, local residents applied for a grant from the Millichope Fund to install an eco-self-composting toilet behind the building.
Managed by Shrewsbury-based charity Shropshire RCC, the fund was established by the Millichope Foundation to support village halls and community buildings in the county.
Matched funding of up-to £500 is given out for key equipment, resources and energy-saving measures which will enhance a building’s use and make it more sustainable.
Heath Chapel’s toilet has now been set up for the congregation and visitors, and includes a tongue-in-cheek sign asking users for either a 1p or £1 donation – depending on use.
Acting church warden Jill Perks submitted the application. She said: “The chapel has a large number of visitors throughout the year, as well as its monthly congregation, and the new toilet has already been used and appreciated as the only facility close by.
“We are very grateful to the Millichope Foundation who made this possible.”
The Millichope Fund is one of a number administered by Shropshire RCC to support local groups and charities in the county.
Julia Baron, Chief Executive of Shropshire RCC, said: “Shropshire has a rich history of voluntary and charitable work, of communities doing things for themselves.
“But even the smallest groups need some money to carry out their activities, and funding opportunities from government and local authorities have reduced significantly in recent times.
“Shropshire RCC manages a number of grants with a wide range of criteria, so I encourage local community groups to visit our website or contact us to find out if they’re eligible to apply for something.”