The Church of Ireland Parish Church in Magheralin, has recently been awarded a grant of £40,000 from the National Churches Trust as a contribution towards funding the extensive works of refurbishment.
The grant is one of 45, totalling £645,000, announced by the Trust to support the renovation of churches throughout the United Kingdom.
It is the first time they have awarded their maximum grant to any church renovation scheme in Northern Ireland.
The project currently being undertaken in Magheralin, under the direction of Des Cairns of Des Cairns Architecture, Accredited Conservationist, involves replacing the pointing in the walls, renewing the leadwork on the roof and carrying out repairs to the tower. The defective pointing had allowed moisture to be trapped within the core of the walls causing dampness to affect the internal plasterwork. Large areas of the plasterwork also have to be renewed.
The Rector of Magheralin Parish, Canon Gareth Harron, in expressing his delight, said: “We are absolutely thrilled to have received this grant from the National Churches Trust. The present church in Magheralin has been at the centre of worship in the parish since 1890 and had these repairs not been carried out, its condition would have deteriorated. Although further works of improvement will be necessary to the interior of the church in the near future, it is vitally important that the fabric of the building is maintained in excellent condition. Only by doing so will we be able to encourage more people to follow our Parish vision of being ‘More Like Jesus.’”
The National Churches Trust was founded in 1953 and is the only non-profit independent organisation dedicated to supporting church buildings across the United Kingdom. It receives no funding from church authorities or government and depends on the generosity of its supporters. It receives many applications annually and from these, a shortlist is produced. These are then discussed by an independent grants committee comprised of experts from the church and heritage sectors.