Blandford Parish Church gets a perfect Christmas present

by Michael Ford last modified 08 Jan, 2019 12:28 PM

Blandford Parish church has received the perfect Christmas present - a National Lottery grant towards its £1.2 million restoration project.

The Heritage Lottery Fund has announced it is giving initial support* and a development grant of £78,000, towards the restoration of the roof of Blandford Parish Church.

The good news, coming just in time for Christmas, means the investigative stage of the £1.2 million restoration project to the landmark Georgian Church can begin the New Year.

Once the investigations have been completed it is hoped that it will be possible to apply for a much larger grant of £664,000 to complete the restoration. This work, which will see the removal and repair of tiles, the replacement of rotten timbers, the rebuilding of the apse ceiling and internal plastering and decoration of the ceiling, is part of the wider Cupola Project, which is connected to the restoration of Blandford Parish Church.

Revd Canon Jonathan Triffitt, Rector, Blandford Forum & Langton Long said:
“Two years ago we restored the main Cupola followed by improving the access to the building by extending the steps to enable wheelchair access.

“Once the roof has been done the building will hopefully be watertight and then the next phase will be an internal re-ordering. This will itself be quite challenging as it’s a near perfect Georgian Church, with boxed pews, encompassing several levels within the building… It is a beautiful but complex place.”

Sara Loch, project manager, said:
“I, and all those involved in the work, are completely thrilled about getting this grant; and are looking forward to putting together the paperwork needed to go after the second pass grant.”

* While it is hoped that the National Lottery grant will cover the majority of the project, other funding bodies have been approached to make up the shortfall to ensure all the work is completed.

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