St Mary's Church in Warwick is to share in a £437,000 urgent funding pay-out from the National Churches Trust.
A £20,000 National Churches Trust Cornerstone Grant will help to pay for urgent repairs including repointing, pointing, repairing and replacing the eroded stonework of the tower at St Mary’s, Warwick, to ensure the church thrives.
The church also receives a £10,000 Wolfson Fabric Repair Grant from the Wolfson Foundation on the recommendation of the National Churches Trust.
Broadcaster and journalist Huw Edwards, Vice President of the National Churches Trust, said:
"I’m delighted that St Mary’s is being helped with funding for urgent tower repairs. This will safeguard unique local heritage and keep the church open and in use for the benefit of local people.”
“Whether seeking quiet reflection, access to community services or a place to worship, the National Churches Trust helps hundreds of churches each year and with the support of local people keeps them thriving today, and tomorrow.”
Paul Ramsbottom, chief executive of the Wolfson Foundation said:
"As well as being places of worship and buildings of beauty, churches sit at the heart of the community. In many ways they stand between the past and present. We are thrilled to continue our partnership with the National Churches Trust to support the preservation of these significant, much-loved historic buildings across the UK.”
41 churches across the UK will stay open and in good repair thanks to £437,000 of funding awarded by the National Churches Trust. 21 churches benefit from £134,000 of Wolfson Fabric Repair Grants. In 2021 the National Churches Trust made 304 awards to churches worth £5.2 million.
St Mary’s landmark tower, destroyed in the Great Fire of Warwick in 1694 and rebuilt in 1704, is over 130ft high. Its design was supervised and perhaps modified by Sir Christopher Wren. Visible from every direction, for centuries it has been the focal point for travellers as they approach Warwick.
The tower offers spectacular views of the surrounding Warwickshire countryside. It houses a ring of ten bells, three of them dating from the original casting of 1701. Every three hours, on the hour, the bells are played as a carillon; each day of the week has its own tune.
St Mary’s was founded on its present site in 1123 by Roger de Newburgh, the Earl of Warwick and is one of the UK’s oldest major churches.
Thanks to its long association with the Earls of Warwick, St Mary’s is a treasure house of Medieval and Tudor art. The church resonates with extraordinary names from history. It houses the tombs of men who were at Poitiers and Crécy and who advised and served the Black Prince and the Tudor monarchs; Beauchamp, Greville, Dudley.
The Beauchamp Chapel, created by the will of Richard Beauchamp in 1464 is regarded as one of the masterpieces of medieval art, second only to the Henry VII chapel at Westminster Abbey.
The Grade I Listed church benefits from a £20,000 National Churches Trust Cornerstone Grant and a £10,000 Wolfson Fabric Repair Grant to help fund the repointing, pointing, repairing and replacing of the eroded stonework of St Mary’s important tower.
John Luxton who is the churchwarden overseeing the project on behalf of the PCC, said:
"We are thrilled to have the support of the National Churches Trust and the Wolfson Foundation. Their generosity helps us towards securing the £1.4 million total we need in order to repair and restore the tower for future generations. St Mary’s tower is a vital link to our heritage and an iconic part of the town’s skyline. This grant will help us make the tower safe again and encourage more people to visit Warwick’s church treasures.”
For more information on the National Churches Trust visit www.nationalchurchestrust.org