St John the Baptist in Suckley has received a £10,000 grant from the National Churches Trust to install a much needed kitchen and toilet and help keep the church at the heart of the local community.
A total of 52 churches and chapels in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland will benefit from a share of £338,000 in grants from the National Churches Trust, the charity supporting church buildings of all Christian denominations across the UK. £111,000 of the grants has been provided by the Wolfson Foundation.
The money awarded to Suckley Church will enable a kitchen and toilet to be installed in the North Transept of the church, with a mezzanine floor above that to create an additional sound-proof ‘children’s room’. The alterations will ensure that St John the Baptist is able to enhance its potential as a community space.
Churchwarden, Dr Anne Lewis, said:
"We are most grateful to the National Churches Trust for their generous contribution towards the installation of a kitchen and toilet in Suckley Church. This will be of huge benefit to both those who are using the church regularly now including the worshipping congregation, and the adjacent school, and to all those who will be enabled to use the church, particularly the elderly and vulnerable in our scattered community, who are eagerly awaiting the facilities so that they can engage with a broad range of activities in the church.”
“It will also benefit those attending weddings, funerals and musical events, as well as being the catalyst to encourage many new people and groups to use the church. Such facilities are vital in order for our church to be sustainable."
Completed 1879, designed by architect William Jeffrey Hopkins, St John the Baptist Church in Suckley is a large Victorian Church in rural countryside on the edge of Worcester.
Built of grey Cradley sandstone with Bath stone facings it features a 12th Century font, a 14th Century Easter sepulchre and 16th Century panels in pulpit. The base of a mediaeval preaching cross and two other listed monuments are prominent in the church's south churchyard.
This is the second round of grants made by the National Churches Trust in 2021, bringing the total support provided to the UK’s churches this year to £949,000. Last year the Trust awarded, or recommended on behalf of other funders, 260 grants amounting to £1.7 million.