THE FRIENDS of St John’s Church are celebrating after being awarded a National Lottery Heritage Fund grant of £249,975 to repair the top of the spire at Bromsgrove’s landmark ancient church.
The cash, revealed this week, will also go towards further engaging visitors about the building’s heritage.
The funding for the St John’s Spire Appeal was made possible, thanks to players of the National Lottery.
The project will see the top section of Worcestershire’s tallest spire replaced and visitors educated on the town’s oldest building.
St John’s church was placed on Historic England’s At Risk Register owing to the problems on the church spire.
The internal, metal stabilising rod, installed by the Victorians, began rusting. This, in turn, has caused the surrounding stonework to crack. Steel straps were placed around the top section of the spire and the appeal was launched to fundraise to carry out the necessary repairs.
With almost 1,000 years of history captured within the walls of the building and with St John’s the largest place for the community to gather in the town, the restoration and repair of the building are of great importance.
‘Great Start to 2024’
Friends of St John’s chairman Jo Slade said: “It’s definitely a happy new year for the team at St John’s.
“We are really thrilled to have received this support from the Heritage Fund and our thanks go to all National Lottery players.
“We are excited to be able to make a start on the project now that this significant amount of funding has been secured.”
Bromsgrove MP, Sir Sajid Javid, who has supported both the application and the fundraising campaign, said: “This incredible news is the result of the excellent campaigning and dedication of everyone associated with the Spire Appeal.
“It has been a privilege to have worked with them over so many years, and I know this new funding is going to have a tremendous impact.”
The next steps for the team will be reaching out to other local and national funders to secure the funding needed to reach the Friends’ £360,000 target in the hope that the repair works can take place later this year.
Jo added, running alongside the repair works would be a series of engagement projects.
“Residents and visitors will be encouraged to get involved, learn about the heritage at St John’s and have a go at some traditional craft skills.”