A much-loved Edmonton church is to share in a £351,500 heritage funding boost from the National Churches Trust.

A £20,000 National Churches Trust Grant will help to pay for urgent roof and timber repairs to the spire of Grade II Listed St Aldhelm’s church, ensuring it can thrive today and tomorrow.

Broadcaster and journalist Huw Edwards, Vice President of the National Churches Trust, said:

“I’m delighted that Saint Aldhelm is receiving funding for urgent repairs to its roof and spire. This will safeguard wonderful local heritage and keep the building open and in use for the benefit of local people. The church does much to support local people, and it needs to be kept in good repair.”

“Whether seeking quiet reflection, access to community services or as a place to worship, the National Churches Trust helps hundreds of churches each year and with the support of local people, keeps them thriving today, and tomorrow.”

Help for churches

Twenty-one churches across the UK will stay open and in good repair thanks to £351,500 of funding awarded and recommended by the National Churches Trust in this latest round of grants.

In 2022, the National Churches Trust made over 255 grant awards to churches throughout the United Kingdom, with funding totalling more than £1.95m.

In 2023, grants continue to be available churches of any Christian denomination that are open for regular worship to fund urgent repairs, maintenance, installing loos or kitchens and feasibility studies to develop projects. Full details are at: nationalchurchestrust.org/grants

The church

St Aldhelm’s church is a Grade II listed church designed by William Douglas Caroe and built in 1903.

It is an overlooked gem, described by the architectural expert Nikolaus Pevsner as, “idiosyncratic” and “playful”. The walls are red brick with tile and stone dressings and the roofs are covered with plain tiles. There is a shingle-clad spirelet above the gable which separates the nave and chancel. While being mainly gothic in style, the design is very free and individual with strong influences from the arts and crafts movement.

Both in general form as well as in the decorative detailing the church is a good example of the bold blending of styles and influences which is characteristic of Caroe and the Edwardian period.

Behind the altar is a stunning reredos on the theme of the Ascension, painted by the artist Walter Percival Starmer who is also responsible for the beautiful stained-glass windows, depicting biblical themes and commemorating the parish members who commissioned them. Together with the reredos, these were installed in the church as a war memorial in 1947-48.

The Project

 The grant from the National Churches Trust will facilitate roof and timber repairs to spire, gable wall repairs and replacing slipped/broken roof tiles.

Mother Anna Stuttard, Priest in Charge, said:

“Everyone at St Aldhelm’s is absolutely delighted to receive this grant. It will not only help us safeguard a beautiful church, it will also keep the doors open for our foodbank, edible garden project, community groups and the fantastic café run in partnership with West Lea School which gives training and employment skills to disabled young adults. Our church is precious to us and to our community and we are so grateful to the National Churches Trust for their help.”