Church to be restored after grant fund share is awarded

VETERANS DAY The Aircrew Association at RAF Odiham
VETERANS DAY The Aircrew Association at RAF Odiham

Cyclists brave the rain in aid of charity

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A MUCH-LOVED church is to share in a £607,000 funding payout from the National Churches Trust.

St George’s Church in St George’s Square, Portsea, has been awarded the funding to help with vital upgrades and maintenance.

The church will put the £10,000 National Churches Trust Repair Grant towards a project to make the church watertight by repairing the roof, guttering, and drainage.

A total of 36 churches and chapels in England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland will benefit from the latest grants from the National Churches Trust, the charity supporting church buildings of all Christian denominations across the UK.

Founded in 1953, the Trust has helped more than 10,000 churches, chapels, and meeting houses with funding for urgent repairs and to pay for the installation of kitchens and toilets to enable more places of worship to become community hubs.

Thirteen of the churches receiving funding are on Historic England’s Heritage At Risk Register, including St George’s which is at risk due to defects to the roofs, parapets, windows, and bellcote.

Broadcaster and journalist Huw Edwards, vice-president of the National Churches Trust, said: ‘The UK’s churches and chapels are a treasure trove of architecture, history and faith.

‘The cost of keeping churches and chapels wind and watertight and paying for the installation of modern facilities is far beyond the means of congregations.

‘That’s why I’m delighted that the National Churches Trust has been able to provide a £10,000 grant to St George, Portsea.’

St George’s church is built in the Georgian style and is the oldest and most historic building within the parish.

The church is known as the shipwrights’ church having been built by 15 shipwrights from the dockyard.

During the Second World War, the area of Portsea suffered badly from bombing raids and the church was closed for 10 years from 1941-1951 until a preliminary restoration in 1952 followed by further works 20 years later.

The church is still used frequently by community groups and worshippers.