The Parish Church of All Saints’ has been awarded initial support* by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for a National Lottery grant for its restoration project. Made possible by National Lottery players, the project has been awarded a £25,700 development grant to enable the church to progress the plans and apply for a confirmed grant of £224,300 at a later date.
The project has a two-fold aim; to make critical repairs to Houghton Regis Parish Church and to engage local people in their exceptional heritage.
The main part of the project aims to carry out essential conservation work to the outside of our Grade I listed building; the outer structure of the church (built between 14th and 15th centuries) is in desperate need of repair – its striking chequered pattern of flint and Totternhoe stone needing extensive renovation and having been breached in places.
The second part of the project aims to put in place an educational programme with a number of cultural activities to engage local residents in the unique historical, cultural, and spiritual heritage preserved at All Saints’. This will involve recruitment and training of volunteers to keep the Parish Church open for tourists and visitors longer during the day, as well as promoting inspiring and interactive visits from our local schools.
The first part of the works, to develop the project plans, should begin in due course, with inspection works and initial networking with schools and community organizations. The second part of the project will begin following confirmed funding and should start in 2019 with the bulk of repair works being carried out then.
All Saints’ Parish Church has been listed by Historic England in the Heritage at Risk register since October 2016, and it will continue to be listed in it at least throughout the Delivery Phase. However, support from the National Lottery is a great boost of confidence and precious financial help for our parish which is currently engaged in a wider Restoration and Renewal Project estimated at an extra £250,000 – over the National Lottery support. This is also a great boost of confidence for our town which is already benefitting from the excellent work done at Houghton Hall Park and also supported by the National Lottery.
For more information please contact the Parish Priest, Father Diego Galanzino https://www.allsaintshr.co.uk/restoration.html
*Grants for Places of Worship applications are assessed in two rounds. The Parish Church of All Saints has initially been granted round one development funding of £25,700 by the Heritage Lottery Fund, allowing it to progress with its plans. Detailed proposals are then considered by HLF at second round, where a final decision is made on the full funding award of £224,300