Wilburton church boosted by �105,000 grant

A 13th Century church in Wilburton that was badly damaged by hurricane winds has been handed a �105,000 funding boost by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The tower and spire at St Peter’s Church on Church Lane were hit particularly hard by winds in the infamous storm of October 1987 and running repairs have failed to keep the building water tight.

With the help of the Hertiage Lottery Fund and English Heritage however, the Grade I listed church is a step closer to full restoration.

Lady Rosemary Hughes, chair of the fabric committee of St Peter’s, said: “We are very pleased with the grant and hopefully now that English Heritage is on board we will be able to get access to other funding to help with the restoration.

“We do a lot of fundraising ourselves and that covers the cost of running the church but for projects like restoring the tower we need support from bodies like English Heritage and the Heritage Lottery Fund.”

Parts of St Peter’s date back to the 13th century, with additions made throughout the 14th and 15th Centuries under the patronage of Bishop Alcock of Ely, whose crowing cockerel iconography still adorns parts of the church.

Reverend Canon Fiona Brampton of St Peter’s, said: “We are delighted that English Heritage and the Heritage Lottery Fund have been able to help us. Our church is not only a beautiful treasure but also a focal point for the community here in Wilburton.” Greg Luton, regional director for English Heritage, said: “Thanks to the generosity of the Heritage Lottery Fund and ultimately therefore of lottery players, our historic places of worship in direct need still have the vital safety net of the repair grant scheme.

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“Without it, many brave but struggling congregations would be faced with watching their beloved churches and chapels falling into ruin.”

St Peter’s was one of four churches in Cambridgeshire awarded a share of the �3.1 million that was allocated to churches and religious buildings across the East of England.