Directory: Churches and People

Messingham celebrates award of HLF grant

18 December 2017

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It has been announced that Holy Trinity Church in Messingham, North Lincolnshire, has received a confirmed grant (£205,700) from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for a project that is titled, Revealing, Sharing and Caring for our Heritage. Thanks to money raised by National Lottery players, this project aims to renew all the Westmorland slate roof coverings, carry out localised repairs to the roof-structure timbers, install a redesigned rainwater collection and disposal system and carry out associated high-level stonework repairs. 

This will all contribute to the preservation of the Grade II*-listed building for the enjoyment of both current and future generations. The project will also involve work to reveal more about and share the heritage and story of Holy Trinity through the production of a website and the first two of a planned series of visitor information leaflets. In addition, heritage skills awareness and training opportunities will be provided for sector workers and trainees, the general public, school teachers and their pupils through partnerships with heritage skills professionals and volunteers.  

Holy Trinity Church is Grade II*-listed and is a focal point for the local community, as it has been for many generations. A Grade II-listed table tomb is situated in the churchyard, and the church houses a 1759 wall tablet dedicated to the Revd John Farrand and a 1770 marble monument to Mary Farrand by J. Wallis of Newark. 

The earliest parts of the church building itself, notably the nave arcades, are considered to date from the 13th century. There is evidence of later stages of construction during the 14th and 15th centuries but what can be seen today is largely the work of 18th- and 19th-century church builders and restorers. The church tower was rebuilt in 1784 by Thomas Bell, following the collapse of its spire. Considerable re-ordering work was carried out in the late-19th century under the architect Herbert Kirk of Sleaford and the Revd Alfred Edgar Moore (Vicar of Messingham 1879–1900). A new vestry was added in 1896 and further work was carried out in the early 20th century, focusing on the current lady chapel, which was once the vestry. 

It was, however, a substantial scheme of work undertaken in the early 19th century by the Revd Dr Henry Vincent Bayley, priest of Messingham (18111826), and the architect Edward J. Willson that most would consider to be the most historically and aesthetically significant chapter in the history of the church since the medieval period. As part of his scheme, the Revd Dr Henry Vincent Bayley assembled and installed a significant and highly acclaimed collection of medieval stained glass fragments, largely in the East window. These date from the 14th–16th centuries and, it is believed, were ‘acquired’ from the Lincolnshire churches of Laughton, Scotton, Kettlethorpe, Snarford and Scampton, as well as churches from as far afield as Malvern and Manchester. 

The Reverend David Swannack, Rector of the South Manlake Benefice, of which Messingham is a part, has said: “We’re delighted that the Heritage Lottery Fund has confirmed this support. Preserving our church is vital to our plans to extend our engagement with the local community and share our heritage.” 

Construction work is scheduled to commence in April 2018 and this is expected to take approximately 14 weeks.

Further information on the church may be found on its Facebook page

The photograph of Holy Trinity Church is courtesy of Ian Till (Project Manager and Churchwarden).