Christmas gift for All Saints, Wilby and St Michael, Sutton
17 December 2021
Two much-loved Norfolk churches are to share in a £473,700 funding package from the National Churches Trust, the UK’s church building support charity.
A £20,000 National Churches Trust Cornerstone Grant will help fund urgent repair work to All Saints’, Wilby and keep the church at the heart of the local community. The church also receives a £10,000 Wolfson Fabric Repair Grant from the Wolfson Foundation, on the recommendation of the National Churches Trust.
A £10,000 National Churches Trust Cornerstone Grant will help fund urgent work to St Michael’s church and keep the church at the heart of the local community.
David Midgley, the churchwarden who is overseeing the restoration project on behalf of the Parochial Church Council, at Wilby said: “These very exciting awards mean the church can increase its mission to the parishioners and the wider community. Once the fabric of this tranquil and unique church is secured, then we can focus on developing facilities which will allow our restful, rural church to play a greater role in supporting local groups, as well as strengthening ties to city-based churches.”
Sheila Garry, who is overseeing the restoration project on behalf of the church in Sutton, said: “We are delighted to receive this grant from the National Churches Trust. We are very grateful for this tremendous boost to our funds, which will enable us to bring forward the start on building work to greatly improve the facilities which St. Michael’s church will be able to offer the parish and the wider community.”
Broadcaster and journalist Huw Edwards, Vice President of The National Churches Trust, said: “I’m delighted that the historic church of All Saints’ in Wilby is being helped with a £20,000 National Churches Trust Cornerstone Grant and a £10,000 Wolfson Fabric Repair Grant. The grants will facilitate repairs to chancel roof, stonework and mortar, safeguarding unique local heritage and help All Saints’ continue to support local people.”
Speaking about St Michaels, he said: “I’m delighted that St Michael, Sutton is being helped with a £10,000 National Churches Trust Cornerstone Grant. The grant will help fund the installation of a much-needed kitchen and toilet, safeguarding unique local heritage and help St Michael continue to support local people.”
A total of 47 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. £155,700 of the £473,000 grant funding has been provided by the Wolfson Foundation.
In 2021 the National Churches Trust has awarded or recommended 273 grants totalling £3.67 million to help keep church buildings open and in good repair. The total includes £2 million from the Heritage Stimulus Fund, part of the Government’s Cultural Recovery Fund.
More information about the two churches
All Saints, Wilby:
It is quite possible that there was a church on the site before the Norman Conquest. The Lord of the Manor gave property rights to the Abbey of St Mary, York during the reign of William Rufus (1086 – 1100) which accounts for the magnificent chancel at Wilby, including an east window of ‘cathedral proportions’. All Saints’ in Wilby is unique in Norfolk as a church with a virtually complete set of Jacobean fittings, including the three-decker pulpit in its original position amongst the pews. Chancel and nave roofs were restored in 1902 by William Weir, supervised by Philip Webb, a follower of Augustus Pugin. The project will include repairs to the chancel roof, stonework and mortar, and structural monitoring.
St Michael’s, Sutton:
St Michael’s is a fine, handsome building standing on the east side of the village. It is built of flint with limestone dressings and consists of an early 14th century unbuttressed west tower and nave, south aisle and south porch. The Tudor porch has a particularly splendid outer arch over its doorway. The furnishings include a fine Jacobean two-tier pulpit and reading desk and a 14th century font held up on eight stone shafts. The grant will help fund installing a kitchen and toilet, which will offer the church the opportunity of launching a series of community-inspired projects and activities.