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Saturday, September 24, 2016
Restoration prizes awarded for church treasures
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Brother Ken Vance, St Franics Xaviers Catholic Church, Archdeacon of London Canon Meara
Restoration funds have been awarded to the winners of the first Project Restore competition by organiser and ecclesiastical manufacturer Hayes & Finch.

St Peter and St Paul Catholic Church in Ilford won first prize in Project Restore, an initiative launched by Hayes & Finch to bring some of the country's most significant religious and historical items back into public use.  The church's nominated item, a seven ft Victorian paschal candle stand, will now receive £1,500 worth of restoration work.

All Saints Church in Edmonton and All Saints Franciscan Friary in Barton-upon-Irwell have been awarded runner-up status, winning £750 worth of restoration each.  The Edmonton church will see a processional cross dating back to WW1 restored, while the Friary will see its sanctuary lamp repaired.

Hayes & Finch launched Project Restore in July and invited churches of all denominations across the UK to nominate items that they felt were worthy of repair.

Judges received a range of entries including chairs, communion cups and thuribles.

The judging panel, which included the Archdeacon of London, Canon Meara and Brother Ken Vance from St Francis Xavier's Church in Liverpool, was impressed with the stories behind the entries. 

Canon Meara said: "The paschal candle stand really stood out from the other entries - it's a truly beautiful and striking item.  Although the church knows little of the stand's history they feel very passionately about ensuring that congregations can enjoy it for years to come.  That was the essence of the whole project and it was a unanimous decision that they should win. "

Parish administrator, Chris Draper, entered the candle stand into the competition.  He said: "Since the church was redecorated the interior has changed a lot and is now quite minimalistic so it will be a lovely nod to the church's history to have our candle stand restored to its former glory and take pride of place in the church."

"Father Tom Lavin and the parishioners are looking forward to finding out more about the stand's origins and age and hopefully Hayes & Finch will be able to tell us a little more after they've completed the work."

St Peter and St Paul's parish administrator, Chris Draper, entered the candle stand into the competition.  He said: "We've recently re-ordered the church and now the sanctuary is quite minimalistic, it will be a lovely nod to its history to have our candle stand restored to its former glory and take pride of place in the church."

Hayes & Finch's four strong specialist metal shop will carry out the restoration works over the coming weeks. 

Karen Reilly, marketing director at Hayes & Finch, said: "With such demands on church funds there's often little left in the pot for repairing and maintaining religious items and artefacts and this project was borne out of our desire to help.

"We're delighted that three key pieces of religious history can now be restored and returned to regular use within those local communities.  We've been so overwhelmed by the quality and volume of the entries that we will be looking to run the competition again in 2010."

For more information see: www.hayesfinch.com/

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Tags: Hayes & Finch, Project Restore


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