23 August 2016
It has been announced that St Peter and St Paul Parish Church, Caistor, has received initial support from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for its 'Preserving, Sharing and Understanding' project.
The £330,000 project aims to secure the integrity of the building for future generations, as well as providing what has been described as 'a better and more informative experience for visitors and a better learning experience for our schools and local community'.
At a special event held to celebrate the award of funding, the Vicar, the Revd Canon Ian Robinson said that the HLF has offered a grant of £249,000, of which development funding of £33,800 has been awarded to help the parochial church council progress its plans, after which it may apply for the remaining grant of £215,200 so as to seek to achieve the completion of the project.
The project will aim to carry out essential conservation work to the main roof of the church, which is suffering from damaged and rotting timbers, which is currently resulting in the leakage of rain water into the building. In addition, the church heating system will also be improved, there will be the proposed improvements to the education opportunities presented to visitors and local schools, and the story of the 'Gad Whip' (pictured below) is to be researched and displayed, with the whip to be preserved for the interest of future generations.
Highlighting the significance of the life and place of the church in the local community, the Revd Canon Ian Robinson said that the church building is a place of Christian worship and is well loved by people near and far. "It is a place of pilgrimage," he said, "where people return to relive parts of their past life - some may have lived in Caistor as a child - and then moved away - or who have been married here - or have ancestors buried in the churchyard. Our visitors' book shows the worldwide appeal of this place, with recent visitors from New York, Texas, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand and Poland, to name a few, as well as many from around the UK.
"It is a place of calm and peace where people can come to reflect or pray or just catch their breath. It is an extension of our local schools, used regularly for collective worship or teaching opportunities... Our project title, 'Preserve, Share, Understand', says it all. We need to preserve the building. We want to share it more widely. We want to help folk understand it better. So we are over the moon to announce that we have been awarded a grant by the HLF. This project will ensure that this fine building continues to be a jewel in the crown of this wonderful part of Lincolnshire, and will be an asset to the town of Caistor for many years to come."
In addition to the HLF award, the church has also been successful in obtaining grants from other charitable trusts, as well as having some of its own reserves and being in receipt of some private individual gifts. Further applications to other trusts will now be made as the work continues in setting out to achieve Preserve, Share, Understand.
Pictured as the HLF award was announced: Val Waddington (churchwarden), Juliet Savage, Caistor Mayor Carol Mackenzie, Jill Maund (treasurer), the Revd Canon Ian Robinson and Alan Saxton (churchwarden).
For more on the Caistor Group of Parishes, please visit the website
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