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Friday, March 24, 2017
Churches granted new English Heritage and lottery funding
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¬†A 20th century Catholic church in Essex is one of four churches in the east of England to receive a new conservation grant from English Heritage and the Heritage Lottery Fund. The scheme: 'Repair Grants for Places of Worship' was announced today at Our Lady of Fatima church in Harlow which has been given £135,000 to add to the £400,000 already raised, to conserve walls supporting stain glassed windows. Our Lady of Fatima was designed by noted post war architect Gerald Goalen and built in 1958-60. Goalen used concrete to create a dramatic and modern space that reflected contemporary attitudes to worship. The stained glass windows were designed and made by Fr Charles Norris, a monk from Buckfast Abbey in Devon, in a slab and fused glass system - a form of the French 'dalles de verre' (one inch thick slabs of plain glass which have a piece of coloured glass fused onto the surface). Fr Charles Norris, who is now 94, was pleased to hear the news. He said: "This was the first job I did in 'dalles de verre' in the country. It was a big job to start with but it lead to us completing more than 200 pieces for churches up and down the country." Fr Andrew Forys, Parish Priest of Our Lady of Fatima, said the parish was delighted. He said: "For nearly two years, parishioners have been celebrating Mass in the parish hall, unable to use the church for safety reasons. We are now looking forward to using the church and enjoying the beauty of the stained glass windows once again." Andrew Derrick, English Heritage Assistant Regional Director for the East of England, said the scheme offered churches a "vital lifeline". He said: "We welcome applications from all faith groups and denominations, Christian and non-Christian with a listed place of worship in need of urgent repair." The three other churches in the region to be offered grants are: St Thomas More and St Edward in Waltham Abbey, Epping Forest, Herts: a late 19th century non-conformist chapel which has been offered £104,000 for tower repairs and roofing works. St Mary the Virgin in Marston Moretaine, Bedfordshire: a 14th century church with a rare feature for the East of England ≠ a separate tower to the north of the church, which is Grade I listed. A grant of £49,000 has been offered for masonry repairs to the aisle parapets, windows and buttresses. All Saints in Hainford, Norfolk: a cruciform plan church with original slate roof, built in 1838-40. The church has been offered £90,000 to relay the slate roofs and repair the guttering and drainpiping. The Heritage Lottery Fund and English Heritage have announced an extra £9million for the scheme across England next year. For more information visit the English Heritage website at:
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