BBC News at Ten presenter Huw Edwards has said he's "delighted" that a church charity he works with has given £15,000 to All Saint's church tower repair fund – to fund work which will help remove the 13th C building from the Historic England ‘Heritage at Risk’ register.
Last year a joint bid by the Friends of All Saints and the parish of Brightlingsea secured a £498,000 grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund to be used for repairs to the 97ft tower and the building of an extension with an indoor toilet and kitchenette. The church could be closed well in to 2023 while work takes place, but when complete will enable the building to host music, arts and other community events, and make more of its maritime history
Now, the National Churches Trust Cornerstone Grant – of which Mr Edwards is a vice president – has made the £15,000 grant as part of its work to support church buildings of all Christian denominations across the UK. In addition, the Wolfson Foundation, which promotes excellence in heritage, has made Fabric Repair grant of £5,000. All Saints' is one of several churches to share in a total grant of £584,000.
"I’m delighted that All Saints, Brightlingsea, packed with history, is being helped with a grant," said Mr Edwards. "The funding will safeguard unique local heritage and help keep the church open and in use for the benefit of local people."
A spokeman for the team behind the restoration project added: "The generous grants from Cornerstone and Wolfson Foundation will enable us to make a medieval building fit for modern use, which in turn will stimulate the support, activities and care needed to maintain this beloved landmark. By honouring our heritage and making transformations today we can ensure a flourishing future for the community."
Grade I-listed All Saints dates from 1250 and its Tudor-era tower contains extensive features, including a Tudor font and musket-ball holes attributed to the Civil War. The repair project includes work on the tower's masonry and leadwork, plus the replacement and rebuilding of two parapets and the replacement of the lead roof covering.