Great news about St Denis’ church

A £58,200 grant means more restoration work can be done –
UPDATED 11th January

St Denis' church, East Hatley, Cambridgeshire, 5th August 2020. The Friends of Friendless Churches has been awarded a government Culture Recovery Fund grant of £58,200 to help with repairs to the interior of the building.

Great news!  The Friends of Friendless Churches, which owns St Denis’ in East Hatley (above), has been given a government grant of £58,200 to help with repairs to the interior of the building – new side windows in the chancel and consolidation of the tiles and plasterwork in the chancel.

The government's #HereForCulture sticker.


It’s part of £1m the FoFC has been awarded for repairs to 17 of its 50+ churches by the Culture Recovery Fund.

We’re pleased to report the FoFC’s planning application for the restoration of the windows (20/04598/FUL) was approved on 8th January – after some lobbying to ensure a decision would not be held unnecessarily beyond the ‘consultation’ period, which ended on 6th January.

Having obtained planning permission, the FoFC is pressing ahead with getting the windows made and installed, for under the terms of the grant the work has to be completed by 31st March.

From a standing start in early October, Rachel Morley, the FoFC’s Director, had to organise, via professional help, (in our case Stephanie Norris Architects, 07786 360 552) drawings, quotes and (for the new windows), planning permission from South Cambs District Council.  Stephanie. who is based in Impington, has been involved with work on St Denis’ since 2003, so knows the building well.

So our fears SCDC, having validated the application on 9th November and moved the closing date for consultations from 24th December to 6th January – leaving the FoFC under three months to do the work – would delay the application further were unfounded; they were helped by there being no objections from Hatley Parish Council or the two conservation bodies SCDC was duty bound to confer with.

Hurray! says Rachel

How nice the announcement about the grant was made on 9th October – St Denis’s day!

Had he survived having his head chopped off and just lived and lived, he would be 1,775 years old (give or take a year or two).  Here’s a little bit more about him.

Rachel Morley, the FoFC’s director, e-mailed to say:

“I am delighted to tell you that we applied to the government’s Culture Recovery Fund for some works at St Denis’, and have been successful!

We have been awarded £58,200 for repairs to the chancel.  It will enable us to plain-glaze the windows in the north and south walls (to match those in the nave).  We will also be able to consolidate the tiles and plasterwork in the chancel walls.

HURRAY! The money needs to be spent by 31 March 2021 though, so we’ve got to get our skates on.”

Here are links to the FoFC announcement and the government’s own announcement (which, confusingly, only includes a list of under £1m awards, so excludes the FoFC award).

#HereForCulture  #friendsoffriendlesschurches  #CultureRecoveryFund   #historicengland

Post created 9th October 2020; updated 11th January 2021.