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Funding joy for St Mary the Virgin, Gamlingay

A Press Release from The National Churches Trust

Funding joy for St Mary the Virgin, GAMLINGAY

A much-loved Cambridgeshire church is to share in a £2 million funding payout from the National Churches Trust, thanks to the support of the government’s Heritage Stimulus Fund.

A £206,786 Grant will help fund work to St Mary the Virgin and keep the church at the heart of the local community.

Claire Walker, Chief Executive of the National Churches Trust said: “I’m delighted that the National Churches Trust has been able to award St Mary the Virgin, GAMLINGAY a grant of £206,786 thanks to the support of the Heritage Stimulus Fund, which is part of the government’s Cultural Recovery Fund.”  

The grant will facilitate roof repairs, safeguarding unique local heritage and help St Mary the Virgin continue to support local people as we begin to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic. It will also help remove St Mary the Virgin from the Heritage at Risk Register.”

Duncan Wilson, Historic England’s Chief Executive, said: 

Funding from the government’s Culture Recovery Fund is hugely welcome at a time when the people and organisations who look after our vast and varied array of heritage urgently need support to carry out essential repairs. Heritage is a fragile eco-system, with an amazing cast of characters who keep our historic places alive, with specialist skills that take time to learn and experience to perfect. These grants will protect their livelihoods, as they use their expertise to help our heritage survive.” 

The church  

The church is mainly 13th-century with extensive rebuilding in the 14th and 15th centuries. It has been a Grade I listed building since 1967.

The church features a late medieval, five bay rood screen. The oldest parts are thought to have been in position after the restoration in the 1480’s. Traces of the medieval paint colours of red, green, cream and gold still remain.

At that time there would have been a small winding staircase (a vice) leading up to the top of the screen from behind the present pulpit. The doorway to the screen is still visible but the vice was bricked up in the Reformation. However, the remains of the first few steps of the vice can be seen besides the modern pulpit.

A medieval cross in St Mary’s churchyard was demolished by the Puritans in 1643.

The project 

In 2018 St Mary the Virgin suffered a major lead theft which resulted in the church being placed on the ‘Heritage at Risk’ register. Temporary roof coverings were subsequently installed.

The project will allow sand-cast lead will be reinstated to match those which have been lost. It will also include the repair of windows, where a combination of masonry works and re-leading are required in conjunction with overhaul of the ferramenta.

The first phase will improve people’s lives by helping to heal the scars of a lead theft, improve the building for current users and be a first step in St Mary’s wider plans to develop itself as a centre for the community.




About the National Churches Trust

The National Churches Trust is the leading national independent charity concerned with the protection and welfare of churches, chapels and meeting houses throughout the United Kingdom. We aim to:

a)         Provide grants for the repair, maintenance and modernisation of church buildings

b)         Act as a catalyst to improve and bring more resources to the management of church buildings

c)         Promote the value of church buildings to the community at large

For more information visit

About the Culture Recovery Fund

  • The government's record-breaking £2 billion Culture Recovery Fund is the biggest ever one-off cash injection into UK culture. Since the start of the pandemic, almost £2 billion has been invested to tackle the crisis facing the country’s most loved arts organisations and heritage sites.

About the Heritage Stimulus Fund

  • The Heritage Stimulus Fund is part of the Culture Recovery Fund and is administered by Historic England on behalf of the government.  The first round of the Heritage Stimulus Fund has already enabled repair and maintenance work at more than 800 of the country’s treasured heritage assets and has protected the jobs of expert crafts workers in the sector.
  • Grants allocated in this latest round of the Heritage Stimulus Fund will continue to support a large number of projects carried out by a variety of specialists and workers across the country, thereby supporting this vulnerable sector as the nation re-opens.


Page last updated: Wednesday 27th October 2021 11:51 AM
First published on: 27th October 2021
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