Heritage Lottery Fund set to help regenerate ‘unique’ late Anglo-Saxon church at Great Hale

The parish church at Great Hale has secured a Heritage Lottery Fund grant to renew its floor and seating.

Great Hale church. EMN-201003-100630001
Great Hale church. EMN-201003-100630001

Great Hale has secured the £52,700 award from the National Lottery Heritage Fund towards an exciting heritage project to regenerate the late Anglo-Saxon St John the Baptist Church.

The project will focus on replacing the decaying wooden floor with limecrete and Ancaster stone; removing the pews, and replacing them with chairs, enabling the church to extend the range of community events and heritage exhibitions it can offer.

Elaine Huckle has been Churchwarden for the last three years and said: “We are thrilled to have received this support from National Lottery players and believe the project will enable the church to reaffirm its presence in the community and also deepen interest in this historic church building.”

Archaeological investigations will be recorded and may reveal the foundations of the original Anglo-Saxon church.

People will be able to discover the secrets and heritage of this ancient church through exhibitions, booklets, guided tours, sessions on Anglo-Saxon history for schools and oral history recorded from members of the local community.

Building work is scheduled to start on July 6.

The spiral staircase in the tower is unique and the only one of its type from the Anglo-Saxon period in the United Kingdom. The stone image of the Madonna on the tower is only one of 10 in the country and dates from the late 10th Century.

Mrs Huckle said this award will give young people an amazing and exciting opportunity to engage with and experience living history that will remain with them for years to come.

The church is Grade I listed and seen as a central focal point in the village. Part of the Heckington and Helpringham group of parishes, the local church community regularly organises festivals and events which attract visitors from far and wide.

Upcoming events include a Daffodil Tea, at 4pm on Saturday, March 14, and the summer patronal festival of ‘Kings and Queens’ on June 19-21.

You can find out more on its Facebook page: Great Hale Church.