Restoration work to bring a troubled Lincolnshire church back to its former glory has won an award.
English Heritage has announced the Church Of All Saints in Beckingham, near Lincoln, has won the regional Caring For Places Of Worship award.
The 13th century grade I listed medieval church was closed in 1998 and almost made redundant.
But now, after campaigns and fundraising from local villagers, and years of hard work, the church has won an award to celebrate and pay tribute to the restoration of its former glory.
Ageing and poorly maintained roofs led to rainwater damage to all areas of the church, but thanks to grants from English Heritage and the Heritage Lottery Fund, the chancel, organ chamber, nave and aisles all have new roofs.
The repair of the tower is the next phase of work to be grant aided, estimated to be carried out next year.
Alan Megahey, rector of the Church of All Saints, explained how extensive work had been undertaken to repair the church. He said: “The church was in serious need of repair after years of neglect.
“With the assistance of English Heritage, we have worked over the past eight years to make the church water tight and to preserve and restore it to its former glory.
“There is, however, still a lot of work that is needed. There is water damage inside the church and some of the floors and pews need replacing as they are rotting.
“Villagers have recently shown their commitment to the church by responding to a fundraising campaign to support All Saints for its day-to-day upkeep and maintenance.
“This will help sustain the church, but it is essential to secure more support to preserve and develop it for a sustainable future.”
Dr Anthony Streeten, English Heritage regional director, said: “Our research has uncovered some truly inspiring stories of local people working tremendously hard to care for their historic place of worship.
“The sample survey indicates 89 per cent of places of worship in the East Midlands are in reasonable shape, which this reflects the commitment of these dedicated congregations.”
The award was given as part of English Heritage’s Heritage and Risk initiative, carried out to assess the state of repair if places of worship.
Places of worship at risk in Lincolnshire that have been highlighted on the campaign’s register include the Church Of St Peter And St Paul in Cherry Willingham and the Church Of St Mary Magdalene in the Bailgate area of Lincoln.
Source: This is Lincolnshire