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All Saints' and St Andrew's Church, Kingston reopens after repairs

On the 9th December 2023 Kingston Parochial Church Council held a celebration to mark the reopening of All Saints’ and St Andrew’s church, which had been closed for repairs since July; to thank the architect, contractors and sub-contractors; the eight charitable trusts, many parishioners and other friends, who have made grants and donations to fund the project.

Kingston’s parish church is a Grade I Listed Building, noted for its nationally important series of wall paintings, dating from the late C13 to the late C17. In 2017 part of the nave ceiling collapsed and the roof of the south aisle had begun to leak. The church was placed on the Heritage At Risk Register by Historic England in January 2020. There followed four years of fund raising by the PCC to carry out urgent repairs. Following the success of the project, the PCC now intends to begin fund raising for the provision of WC and kitchen facilities.

The works, the most extensive since the 1920s, have now been completed. The nave has been provided with a completely new ceiling and the south aisle with a new roof in Burwell peg tiles. In addition, there have been masonry and glazing repairs to the clerestory windows and the nave has been redecorated internally. Mark Perry of Perry-Lithgow cleaned the chancel arch wall painting. The Principal Contractor was Bakers of Danbury, long-established specialists in heritage repair projects, and the architect was Alexandros Michalitsianos, of Archangel Architects, Impington.

The total cost of the project amounts to about £135,000 (before VAT). Of this sum £45,000 was raised by fund raising events and donations in the parish – a remarkable effort for a small village of only 80 households. With the help of Holly Robinson, the Diocese of Ely Historic Church Buildings Support Officer, we were able to secure grants from eight different charitable trusts.The major part of the funding – £57,000 – came from Thalia WB Community Fund (formerly Amey), part of the national Landfill Communities Fund Scheme: this was arranged under the auspices of the Cambridgeshire Community Fund. Substantial grants were also awarded by the Cambridgeshire Historic Churches Trust, Garfield Weston, The National Churches Trust, the Wolfson Foundation, the Benefact Trust, the Prince of Wales Charitable Trust (now the King Charles III Trust), and the Jack Patson Trust.

More than 50 parishioners attended the event, along with representatives of the charities sponsoring the repairs, including Nigel Walter of the National Churches Trust and Gareth Thomas of the Thalia W B Community Fund. Also present were Holly Robinson from the Diocese of Ely and Dr Lynne Broughton of the Cambridgeshire Historic Churches Trust. To conclude the proceedings, the Rev'd Nigel Pearson gave a blessing.

Looking to the future, Kingston PCC’s responsibility and mission is to keep the church open 365 days a year for prayer and regular services of worship; for baptisms, weddings, funerals and burials; but also to extend the use of the building for community events. In 2022 Kingston church hosted six concerts, with more events planned for 2024. Musicians of all kinds find the church’s acoustics superb.

L to R: Nigel Walter of the National Churches Trust; Alexandros Michalitsianos of Archangel, the project architect; Adrian Ward, project manager for Bakers of Danbury; Peter Reynolds of Kingston Parochial Church Council; Gareth Thomas, Chair of Thalia W B Community Fund and a Trustee of the Cambridgeshire Community Foundation.


Page last updated: Thursday 4th January 2024 4:57 PM
First published on: 4th January 2024
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