Preston Church’s £3.5m Fund-Raising Appeal
Iconic St Walburge’s Church in Preston is one of the most important Catholic churches in the country, and it’s famous for having the tallest spire of any parish church in Britain. The Grade I listed building is currently under the care of the Institute of Chris the King Sovereign Priest (ICKSP).
However, church leaders say that the roof is leaking and in need of urgent repairs, according to BBC News. The Rector, Canon Gwenael Cristofoli, said £3.5m was an ambitious goal, but achievable if everyone worked together
He said that gaining funding via traditional grants may be difficult in the current financial climate, so the long-planned appeal had now been launched.
“It will certainly be a huge challenge but we are in urgent need,” he said. “We need to get on with the campaign, which we have been working on for a long time.”
Canon Gwenael Cristofoli of St Walburge’s Church told that the leaking roof is just one of the urgent repair jobs that need to be done “We have already been working with the community and feel that the church is not just for people who attend the church. It is like a symbol of Preston,” he said.
The church and its subsidiary buildings have suffered deterioration due to many years of neglect, aided by the particularly severe weather over the past few years. The restoration project is to prevent further decay, as well as providing the buildings with urgent repair, conservation treatments, and improvements to benefit the congregation and the wider community.
The programme of works on St Walbruge’s has been divided into four phases over the next five years:
- Roof repair and replacement
- Stained glass and stained glass protectors repair
- Heating system renewal
- Improved disabled access
- New toilets for women, men and the disabled.
- Parish hall repairs
- Repair to the Talbot Library.
The church has applied to grant organisations such as Heritage Lottery Fund (who will match every £1 raised), Albert Gubay Foundation, All Churches Trust and Garfield Weston Foundation.
The church and the parishioners are hosting their own fundraising events also, including The Spire Beer fest, the Spire at Night and Award Galas which will result in generating extra revenue.
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