Colsterworth Parochial Church Council (PCC) has announced that it has received a National Lottery grant of £10,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for an exciting new project, the Colsterworth Church Isaac Newton Project. Made possible by money raised by National Lottery players, the project will enable the PCC to appoint an architect to advise on the best ways of restoring the Newton Family Chapel and improving the building’s facilities.

St John the Baptist Church is a Grade I-listed building and is one of the oldest churches in Lincolnshire, dating back to Saxon times. Its association with the Newton family is important: Isaac was baptised there in 1642, his family worshipped there, and his parents are buried inside the church. Part of the font in which Newton was baptised is still in use today, and the church possesses a sundial carved by him with a penknife when he was nine years old. The Newtons’ connection with the church is not well known and this project will begin work to raise awareness in local, national and international communities.

The project will investigate the best options for providing new toilets, a servery, new seating, and improved heating and lighting. The aim of these plans is to provide a more flexible space and a more welcoming atmosphere both for regular church services and for use by the local community for a variety of events and activities. Once restored, the Newton Family Chapel could become a place for small services, worship and prayer.

The National Lottery-funded project will also explore options for a new Heritage Learning Centre, which would focus on science and faith in Newton’s life and work and encourage visits by school parties. 

Speaking about the grant award, the Project Leader, Peter de Voil, has said: “We are delighted to have received this support from National Lottery players and hope that the project will lead to a building which will provide much needed facilities for members of the local community and a worthwhile educational experience for schoolchildren and visitors from home and abroad.”