THE FIRST pot of national funding has been secured towards the project to replace the roof at Malvern’s iconic Christ Church which members described as a ‘huge step’.
The Heritage Lottery Fund has pledged £13,744 for the development stage of the work which will allow an architect to draw up detailed designs.
Once the plans are completed it will mean a second application can be submitted to the HLF in the hope of securing a further £167,500 to replace the roof entirely.
But public support will still be needed to see the project through with the estimated total cost of around £215,000.
The successful grant application was announced to members of the congregation on Monday.
Angie Green from Christ Church said: “We are so delighted to have had this first round pass, it means so much to us.
“The church has been in the wilderness for the past five years but we are going forward.
“This is a huge step. Replacing the roof is completely practical and necessary for the church to survive.
“We have got big plans for Christ Church and this grant hopefully seals them and seals the water out at the same time.”
Rev Cannon Harold Goddard said the application process had been very complicated and lengthy.
He added the project was ongoing and bidding for the next phase of funding would be just as challenging.
Jude Walker from Heritage Lottery Fund West Midlands, attending on the day, said the first round was the most difficult and the majority of second round bids went through.
She added: “The support of the congregation has really counted with Heritage Lottery. An active vibrant community showing support is one of the biggest things we look for as it enables us to justify the support.”
Mayor Julian Roskams was also present for the announcement and added: “This is not just great news for the church but for the whole town of Malvern.
“Christ Church has always had a reputation for providing a warm welcome which can continue for years to come thanks to this funding.”