Covid grant will pay for church roof repairs

A small Sleaford-area village that was devastated when lead thieves attacked their parish church is celebrating after getting a £25,000 grant from the Government for repairs.

After the lead thieves struck at Pickworth church. EMN-210426-135053001

The roof of St Andrew’s Church in Pickworth was targeted by thieves in January last year when the overall cost of repairs were predicted to amount to £50,000.

The lifeline grant comes from the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund to protect heritage sites and ensure that jobs and access to culture and heritage in local communities are protected during the months ahead as the country emerges from the pandemic.

The repairs at 12th century St Andrew’s will stop water seeping through the exposed roof and damaging the historic medieval wall paintings and nave with rood screen and original pews. The grant comes at a crucial point because, if left much longer, damage to the much-loved Grade 1 listed church would have been beyond repair, warn parishioners.

St Andrew's Chuirch, Pickworth - the roof has been replaced with an alternative material far less attractive to thieves. EMN-210426-135104001

Jenny Seddon, church warden, said: “We are delighted to receive this funding from the Culture Recovery Fund. It has made a significant difference to the repair work we needed to carry out following the theft of lead so that the church can continue to play an important part in the life of our community.”

As well as monthly services it is also used for community celebrations and events.

This vital funding comes from a part of the Culture Recovery Fund called the Heritage Stimulus Fund, administered by Historic England.

Culture Secretary, Oliver Dowden, said: “These grants will help the places that have shaped our skylines for hundreds of years and that continue to define culture in our towns and cities.”

St Andrew's Church, Pickworth. EMN-210426-135042001