St Paul’s, like most churches across the country, faced huge challenges during the Covid 19 Crisis.
Having to close it’s doors during the period of lockdown, without a congregation or being able to offer any other services, absolutely flattened it’s resources. Existing on a day-to-day basis was looking like the worst nightmare.
Bills still had to be paid – heating, systems servicing, electricity, phone bills, etc. – without an income.
Although we had reserve funds, they were there to help with the unexpected one-off emergency – fixing a wall, replacing a radiator, replacing a boiler – they weren’t intended to be the main source of income to keep the church afloat. On top of this was the responsibility of caring for and maintaining the heritage of the site both in terms of the buildings and also the grounds.
Faced with church reserves being depleted within a few months, the future of this beautiful church seemed to be very much in the balance. What could it do?
Well, the cavalry arrived, three knights in shining armour to save the day, in the guise of…
- The Heritage Lottery Fund
- The Culture Recovery Fund (government funded but managed by Heritage Lottery)
- Historic England.
It is without any shadow of a doubt that the church is still functioning only because of the financial support from these organisations. Their support has…
- Paid for the day to day running costs.
- Funded essential repairs and maintenance to the fabric of the church building.
- Ensured the environment was safe for people to visit.
- Encouraged the church and it’s leaders to look at alternative methods of working for the future.
- Helped with the updating of IT systems.
- Allowed for the grounds to be maintained and kept in beautiful condition for visitors to enjoy.
Having now re-opened, we hope to be able to stand upon our own two feet in due course, but that could be a slow process, hopefully not, but what is certain is that without the help of these organisations, St Paul’s would have had to have closed, permanently, months ago.
Thank you…Heritage Lottery Emergency Fund.
Thank you… Culture Recovery Fund (Heritage).
Thank you… Historic England.