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£15k grant for Woolhampton church damaged by woodpeckers

National Churches Trust award to repair St Peter's spire

Charlie Masters

Charlie Masters

charlie.masters@newburynews.co.uk

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07964 444701

Huw Edwards endorses Woolhampton church grant

NCT vice president broadcaster Huw Edwards

The National Churches Trust (NCT) is to make a significant donation towards essential repairs at St Peter's Church, Woolhampton.

The Grade II-listed building's spire has suffered significant damage in recent years, much of it attributed to woodpeckers, which have hammered their way through the wooden shingles.

The damage is such that jackdaws are able to enter St Peter's and nest in the spire.

Now, £15,000 has been secured towards the costs of addressing the problem.

The funding is part of a £507,000 nationwide package, with 59 churches and chapels receiving a share.

St Peter's was built in the 13th century and is believed to have been associated with the medieval Knights Hospitaller, who owned the Woolhampton and Brimpton estate.

The Dowager Lady Falmouth donated the west end stained glass window, one of the largest in any parish church by Thomas Williment (1786-1871), the heraldic artist to George IV - and an artist in stained glass to Queen Victoria.

Broadcaster Huw Edwards, who is vice president of the NCT, said: "The UK's historic churches and chapels are a vital part of our national heritage and have done so much to help local people during the Covid-19 lockdown.

"But to survive, many need to carry out urgent repairs and install modern facilities.

"The cost of this work is far beyond what most congregations can pay for themselves.

"So I'm delighted that St Peter's Church, well known for its stained glass, is being helped with a £15,000 National Churches Trust Cornerstone Grant.

"The work on the tower and spire, which have been damaged by woodpeckers, will help secure the future of this historic building."

Members of the St Peter's Church Council Prue Matchwick and Catherine Lovell said: "We are enormously grateful to the National Churches Trust for their generosity in granting us £15,000 towards the repair of the badly-damaged spire of our much-loved church."

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