Stourbridge Church Receives Cash Windfall

St. Thomas’ Church in Stourbridge has received a £149,100 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund for a project to carry out urgent repairs, improve accessibility and attract more visitors.

At the end of 2012 the church’s stonework was reported as being in a deteriorating and dangerous condition and requiring urgent attention. Thanks to National Lottery players, the necessary repair work will be carried out alongside a programme of events to publicise the history and architecture of the Grade I listed building.

The project will restore the exterior stonework of the building and accessibility is to be improved with the provision of a permanent access ramp to the South Porch and an accessible toilet constructed in the North Porch. A partly glazed inner door in the South Porch will give a more friendly entry to the Church.
The grant will also provide funding to train tour guides, organise tours of the church and talks on the history of the building and produce display information boards. This work is already underway and will enable the heritage of the church to be accessible to all – longer opening hours have been part of this wider accessibility to the historic building.

St. Thomas’s is a Georgian Grade I listed building located in Market Street, in the heart of Stourbridge. It was built between 1728 and 1736 by public subscription to serve the people of Stourbridge. It has an apsidal ended chancel and a fine barrel-vaulted ceiling incorporating a “Holy Ghost plaque” which is the main reason for the listing. As well as regular worship, weddings, baptisms and funerals, the church is used for organ recitals, flower and Christmas tree festivals and the increased accessibility will enable its use for more community events which we are excited to be able to arrange. The Church is now open Tuesday to Sunday from 9.30am to 5pm (shorter hours on Saturday unless there is an event on). The church’s garden is used by the whole community and often hosts outside events.

Revd. Andrew Sillis, Priest-in-Charge, says:

"Everyone at St Thomas’ Church is delighted with the wonderful news that the Heritage Lottery Fund are supporting our Church Project. Thanks to National Lottery players, we’re now able to restore worn out parts of our historic building to their original condition and improve access for the whole community.

"St Thomas’ Church is a real gem at the heart of our great town and we want the whole community to be able to visit, use, and enjoy it. This grant makes that possible.”


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