Churches in Ely diocese - of which 80 per cent of the 324 are listed - to get modest boost from National Lottery for workshops on how to preserve them

Ely diocese has numerous historic churches and a National Lottery award will help with workshops to

Ely diocese has numerous historic churches and a National Lottery award will help with workshops to advise on their maintenance. Picture; ARCHIVE - Credit: Archant

Workshops on how to help to preserve Cambridgeshire’s historic churches are being organised thanks to funding from the National Lottery.

The Ely diocesan board of finance has received a National Lottery Heritage Fund grant of £6,000 for a programme of free training.

The project called ‘A Stitch in Time’ will focus on the maintenance and care of historic places of worship and their contents within the diocese of Ely.

‘A Stitch in Time’ will deliver two of the award winning SPAB (Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings) Faith in Maintenance workshops and two conservation cleaning workshops led by expert conservation professionals. It will be aimed at those already involved in the care of historic places of worship and as way to encourage new support from people within parishes regardless of faith.

The diocese has 334 churches of which over 80 per cent are listed. The buildings span over a thousand years of history and contain an enormous range of historical artefacts from intricately carved pews and screens, to lecterns and books and stunning stained-glass windows.

Places of worship are integral to the landscape of Britain, and, in many parishes, are the last public buildings open to the wider community. But, like all older buildings, historic places of worship need careful maintenance to protect their fabric and assure their survival for the future. The care and maintenance of these extraordinary buildings is a challenge faced, on the whole, by volunteers.

Holly Isted, the historic church buildings support officer said she was “delighted to have the support and recognition from the National Lottery Heritage Fund for the unsung heroes of church maintenance and care”.

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Anne Jenkins, director, England: Midlands & East, The National Lottery Heritage Fund said “Thanks to money raised by National Lottery players we are delighted to support the diocese of Ely in enabling volunteers to develop skills in caring for their special places of worship.”

More details and dates of the workshops will be announced soon.

For more information please contact Holly Isted, Historic Church Buildings Support Officer at The Diocese of Ely on 07948 350211 and