One of our churches in West Leicestershire has secured a National Churches Trust grant, thanks to the support of the government’s Heritage Stimulus Fund.
Holy Trinity in Norton-Juxta-Twycross will receive £60,626 to help fund vital work and keep the church at the heart of the local community.
The money will facilitate roof repairs, structural work and maintenance of rainwater goods, safeguarding unique local heritage, while helping Holy Trinity continue to support local people as we begin to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic. It will also help remove Holy Trinity from the Heritage at Risk Register.
The beautiful, early 14th century church which was heavily restored around 1841 has a 4-bay nave, 3-bay chancel and a Tower at the west end. It features a 19th century stone front and a full set of 19th century box pews with poppy-heads on the bench ends, while its hexagonal pulpit is contemporary with the pews.
Claire Walker, Chief Executive of the National Churches Trust, said: “I'm delighted that the National Churches Trust has been able to award Holy Trinity, Norton-Juxta-Twycross, a grant of £60,626 thanks to the support of the Heritage Stimulus Fund, which is part of the government's Cultural Recovery Fund.”
Administered on behalf of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) by Historic England, the grants are aimed to support and bolster local economies and jobs across the country.
While this grant is significant, it sits on the shoulder of all the very many smaller grants and contributions made by local businesses, councils, charities and members of the church community. Villagers also generously funded clock repairs last year.
Pauline Bee, Fabric and Building Officer and Deputy Warden at Holy Trinity, said: “We are delighted to receive this funding. The church has played an important role in the community here for over 900 years, as the 1086 Domesday survey showed we had a priest then.
“The maintenance of our church building is the responsibility of the local congregation which is a challenge for such a small village.
“We are grateful to the National Churches Trust and Historic England for supporting these repairs so generously and to other funders, both local and national, who enabled the application to proceed.
“The works will enable the building to be an important part of the community for many years to come.”
Holy Trinity is part of the Woodfield Team of Churches in North West Leicestershire Deanery, with congregation members attending from several other villages including Snarestone, Appleby Magna and Swepstone.
Besides their monthly Sunday service, in recent times the church has served the wider community with services such as ‘bless the plough’, carols in the village and a pop-up nativity. They also host visiting groups and put on regular coffee mornings and a summer BBQ with music. Before Covid, they had started an informal ‘social worship’ with live music, once a month in the evening, and hope to revive this. Future plans for the church grounds also include a quiet garden.
Pauline added: “It’s about constancy. The church is the heart of this small, rural community – a place for quiet reflection, for marriage, baptism and burial - and when everything else around us is gone, the church remains. God is still here.
“We want to bring people into the church and into a relationship with God and we pray and trust in Him as we go forward.”