£28k grant gives Hastings church ‘great hope’

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A church community is celebrating after being awarded £28,100 towards repairs to the historic building’s roof.

St Mary Magdalene Orthodox Church, in Hastings, is set to receive an award from the Listed Places of Worship: Roof Repair Fund it was announced today (July 6).

“It is really excellent news for the whole community of St Mary Magdalene,” said administrator Jim Breen, who submitted the grant bid.

“It gives us great hope and renewed strength to continue the restoration of the church so we can ensure St Mary Magdalene remains preserved for future generations.”

Jim said the church was faced with an ‘exceptionally long-term programme of restoration projects’ but this award put it on the road to restoring the roof and stone work.

“This section of roof is in a very bad way so to have this grant awarded is just fantastic news.”

A total of 401 historic places of worship are set to benefit from the fund.

“Churches and cathedrals are a pillar of British life and we are committed to ensuring future generations will be able to admire and use these historic buildings,” said Chancellor George Osborne.

“Thanks to the work we’ve done over the last six years to secure Britain’s long term economic security, we are able to support the upkeep and repair of places of worship across the UK.”

Nationally, the historic places of worship will receive between £10,000 and £100,000 to meet the costs of urgent repairs to roofs and drainage.

Sir Tony Baldry, chairman of the Church Buildings council: “It is fantastic that a further 400 church buildings will receive significant help with roof repairs from government and we are hugely grateful to the Chancellor.

“We now need to ensure a sustainable way of funding church buildings in the future and this is a question for which I hope the department for culture media and sport taskforce on church buildings will find viable and deliverable answers.”

Today’s grants have been awarded through the government-funded Listed Places of Worship: Roof Repair Fund.

The fund was launched by the chancellor in his Autumn Statement in December, 2014, and the funding package has now seen a total of 903 places of worship across the UK receive a share of £55m.

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