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PRESS RELEASE: Saving Our Heritage for the Community wins National Lottery support

St Andrew’s Church, Bebington: Saving Our Heritage for the Community wins National Lottery support.

It has recently been announced that St Andrew’s Church has received initial support from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for the Saving Our Heritage for the Community project. Made possible by National Lottery players, the project aims to complete essential repairs to the roof structure and also to promote the heritage of the church.

Development funding of £18,600 has also been awarded to help St Andrew’s progress their plans to apply for a full grant at a later date.

Recent investigations have identified major failures in the roof coverings and drainage systems causing leaks into the interior of the church and decay to structural timbers. Urgent repair works have been recommended to preserve this historic Grade 1 listed building and ensure it remains a community asset over many years to come. Our project will also promote the rich heritage of the church through information and educational packages available both in church and in the wider community utilising the latest communication technology. The estimated full cost is £440,000.

St Andrew’s Church has stood on the rise overlooking Bebington Village since Saxon times some 900 years ago. From modest beginnings the building has developed in stages as the local population grew, with major extensions built in the 14th and 19th centuries. Today the church continues its prime role as a place of worship and offers three regular Anglican Christian services on a Sunday in both traditional and family friendly styles, but in addition runs and facilitates many community activities for all age groups throughout the rest of the week, and serves the parish by conducting weddings, baptisms and funerals.

Commenting on the award, Stuart Waldron, Churchwarden and Project Coordinator, said: “We’re delighted that we have received this support thanks to National Lottery players. The church has been at the centre of the community for centuries creating lasting memories in many local family lives, and it is great to know that we are a step closer to preserving it for another century”.

 

Notes for the Editor:

About the Church

The building was built for and by the Parishioners of the five townships of Bebington Parish which originally consisted of Tranmere, Higher Bebington, Lower Bebington, Storeton and Spital cum Poulton.

Today the Church is the focus for Anglican Christian Worship for a significant population, centred on Bebington, with a vision to be a Christ-Centred Family Sharing God’s Love.

St. Andrew’s Church, Bebington is a grade one listed building within the Lower Bebington Conservation Area. It has a prominent position on a rise to the south edge of the village where it has stood for over 900 years.

 

The original parish, bounded on the eastern side by the River Mersey covered an area of 8.5 square miles. During the 19 / 20th Centuries as many as ten churches were created to serve an ever increasing population. Most of these were then formed into Parishes in their own right, with the Mother Church of St. Andrew’s, remaining as focus for Anglican Christian Worship for a significant population, centered on Bebington.

Our vision is to be a Christ-Centred Family Sharing God’s Love. Our current activities include:

  • Worship for an electoral roll of over 350, with the Register of Services indicating an average of around 230 people attending a range of weekly Sunday services including Holy Communion, all age and Family Services and a varied programme of evening services. Major festivals of Christmas, Easter and Harvest attract many additional people from the local community and beyond. Our church school, St. Andrew’s Primary School makes a significant contribution to our services as do local youth uniformed As active members of the local Churches Together partnership the church is regularly used to host joint events and services.
  • Community: The church also has strong links with the other primary school and the two Grammar Schools in the parish and we host all four school’s Carol services for pupils and parents in the weeks before Christmas. Open days and fayres are also held on a regular basis e. Summer and Christmas, across our two sites i.e. Church and Hall. The Church is always open for these event with heritage information and tours available. We have a fine pipe organ, and the excellent acoustics lend themselves to use for musical and theatrical events of a high standard: recent months have seen Stuart Townend and a local community choir holding concerts. In addition our Church Hall is heavily used by community and youth groups who often have special services in Church e.g. Brownies Christingle service.
  • Heritage: We support and participate in Wirral History and Heritage Associations annual event of Wirral Heritage Open Days again with ad-hoc heritage information and tours available. The church having been the centre of the community over many centuries attracts visitors tracing family histories and ad hoc tours are regularly In addition a Heritage Trail for Bebington is being created with St. Andrew’s as a key location to visit and will be used to promote our proposed Church Heritage experience. We actively support the Lower Bebington Conservation Area recently formed by Wirral Council, with a member of the church on the management committee.

 

The recent quinquennial inspection, identified major failures in the roof coverings and parapet gutters causing leaks into the interior and decay to structural timbers. Urgent repair works were recommended to stabalise roof structures and to prevent further ingress of water causing damage to internal fabric and the potential to restrict access.

Our project aims to complete these essential repairs and also to promote the heritage of the church through a permanent exhibition, heritage literature and educational packages incorporating fun trails and the latest communication technology. Additional aspects will include training opportunities and an enhanced concert programme. The beneficiaries of the project will be the local community including schools, and visitors.

 

About Heritage Lottery Fund

The Grants for Places of Worship, England applications are assessed in two rounds. A first-round pass is given when HLF have endorsed outline proposals and earmarked funding. A first-round pass may also include an immediate award to fund the development of the project. Detailed proposals are then considered by HLF at second round and as long as plans are progressed satisfactorily and according to the original proposals, an award for the project is confirmed.