Lottery grant for Bury landmark church’s roof

St Johns Church is a skyline landmark in Bury St Edmunds but needs damaged slates and lead, replaced
St Johns Church is a skyline landmark in Bury St Edmunds but needs damaged slates and lead, replaced

A project to secure the future of one of Bury St Edmund’s skyline landmarks has had the thumbs up from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

St John’s Church has received initial support from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for its major Roof Repairs project, it was announced today.

Damaged tiles and lead that need s replacing on the roof of St Johns Church, Bury St Edmunds

Damaged tiles and lead that need s replacing on the roof of St Johns Church, Bury St Edmunds

That means the fund (HLF) has endorsed outline proposals and earmarked funding so detailed plans will go to a second-round and as long as they have progressed satisfactorily, an award is confirmed.

Revd Canon Mark Haworth said: “We’re delighted that we’ve received this support thanks to National Lottery players.

“This will secure the future of St John’s as a centre of worship and community life and means that we have an opportunity to explain its heritage and tell the story of its life over the past 175 years.”

The church was built in 1841 but its the slates have crumbled, the lead gutters are torn and that the unprotected rafters beneath have begun to rot as rainwater seeps in.

The project will involve replacing all the slates and lead, as well as many of the wooden rafters.

Initial investigations indicate the full cost of the work will be more than £300,000.

Over the next year, aided by £22,300 of development funding from HLF, the church will ascertain the true extent of the damage and how best to remedy the problem.

This will enable St John’s to make their plans and apply for a full HLF grant next year.

The full project plans include a children’s guide to the church, tours of Victorian Bury St Edmunds and a timeline display relating church, local and national history.

St John’s is Grade II* listed and is notable for being mainly of Woolpit white bricks and for the use of innovative building techniques by its architect William Ranger.