St Botolph’s Church in Boston has been awarded the 2018 Friends of the National Churches Trust Grant.

The £10,000 grant will help to fund their current repair project to restore the church’s tower. This will include replacement of the lead belfry roof and the wooden platform at the top of the lantern tower, which are both in extremely poor condition.

Four churches, which had been awarded a National Churches Trust Repair or Community Grant in 2017 and which needed additional funding prior to starting work on their projects, were shortlisted for the Friends’ Grant.

In a vote, Friends of the National Churches Trust selected St Botolph’s as the church that should receive an additional grant of £10,000.

Other churches shortlisted were St Elvan, Aberdere, Wales; St James, Shardlow, Derbyshire and St Andrew, Donhead, Wiltshire.

The Friends of the National Churches Trust Grant scheme started in 2017 when St Mary Magdalene, in Paddington, west London, was awarded the first-ever Friends of the National Churches Trust Grant of £10,000.

St Botolph’s was awarded a £40,000 Repair Grant from the National Churches Trust in November 2017. The repair project is focused on the restoration of the church’s tower. It will also involve restoration work to the west face of the tower, enabling St Botolph’s to be removed from Historic England’s Heritage At Risk Register, safeguarding the historic fabric for generations to come.

When complete, the project will draw in significant numbers of new visitors thanks to the redevelopment work, and new facilities. The church is the largest performance space in the area, seating 1,200 people. It has been expanding its concert and events programme, and has installed a shop and better facilities for community groups. It is particularly well used for English language classes for the local eastern European community.

Claire Walker, Chief Executive of the National Churches Trust, said: “I’m delighted that St Botolph, Boston, Lincolnshire is to receive the 2018 Friends of the National Churches Trust Grant of £10,000 to help in the funding of the restoration of the church’s tower. We look forward to following the progress of the works and to seeing the benefits of the completed project in the coming years.

“All the churches who were shortlisted for the Friends Grant had exciting and important projects and I very much hope that they will be able to find any additional funding required as soon as possible. I am particularly grateful to all of them for providing a video about their churches which was a great help to enable our Friends to select the winning project.

“Through their support and generous donations, our growing number of Friends help us carry out our work of supporting churches in so many ways. Providing a direct way for them to help us select a church to award an additional grant of £10,000 is a great way that we can involve our Friends in our work. Many thanks to our Friends who took part in the vote, and congratulations to St Botolph’s for winning.”

Further information on the parish may be found here.