Project Restore to retrieve lost religious treasures

Up to 65 per cent of important religious artefacts are thought to be hidden from public view due to damage and disrepair.

Experts at Hayes & Finch,  predict that churches' historical artefacts, religious items and furniture have fallen into such a bad state of disrepair that they've been removed from regular use.

Hayes & Finch has launched Project Restore, an initiative designed to bring some of the country's most significant religious and historical items back into mainstream use.

Karen Reilly, production director at Hayes & Finch said: "All too often collection plates, communion tables and other items are left damaged by the ravages of time and rather than being repaired they're put away out of sight. With such demands on church funds there's often little left in the pot and that's a real shame."

Project Restore is asking churches of all denominations  across the UK to nominate items which they feel are worthy of cleaning, repair and renovation - be it a 100 year old collection plate,  a commemorative plaque or a credence table.

A team of judges from Hayes & Finch's metal shop and furniture factory, the Archdeacon of London, Canon Meara and Brother Ken Vance from Saint Francis Xavier's Church in Liverpool will  judge the entries before choosing the three most worthy items. The overall winner will see their item restored to a value of £1500 and two runners' up will receive £750 each towards  the refurbishment of their items.

Karen continued: "Many items have both religious and personal significance to many people and we're looking for items which have a real story to tell  - perhaps the collection plate is as old as the church or you'd like to see the pulpit restored in time for centenary celebrations.

"We really hope this project will have broad appeal and that church committees, clergy, congregations, curators and estate managers will all get involved."

Project Restore is open for nominations until  Wednesday, 30 September 2009.    To take part and make a nomination, please send a photo of the item and a paragraph explaining why you think it should be selected.

Please send your entries to or by post to Project Restore c/o Hayes & Finch, Hanson Road, Aintree, Liverpool, L9 7BP. The winners will be announced in October 2009 and notified by telephone.

For more information about Hayes & Finch visit or call 0151 523 6303.

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