Manchester's St Ann's church celebrates 'handsome grant'

Image caption,
The interior of St Ann's Church has suffered damage from the leaking roof

The rector of Manchester's second oldest church has said he is "delighted" with a "very handsome grant" the building has received from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).

St Ann's Church in the city centre has been awarded £186,000 for essential work, including fixing a leaky roof.

Rev Nigel Ashworth said the building was "in real need of repair".

"Last year, an angel's wing fell off at the east end, so we're going to try and get that done too," he said.

The church, which was consecrated in 1712, has been running its own appeal to raise the £250,000 needed for repairs and for improvement of the building's facilities.

'Within reach'

Rev Ashworth said the congregation of the church were "incredibly grateful" for the money and praised both HLF and English Heritage, who assisted in securing the grant for the Grade I listed building.

"Our appeal has been raising money for some time now, but to receive this fantastic award has put us within reach of getting things done.

Image caption,
A mark on St Ann's Church indicates the old centre of Manchester

"Our church has been in real need of repair recently and the replacement of the slate roof and parapet gutters will do a lot to keep the building safe and dry.

"With buildings such as St Ann's, there is no point in doing a patch up job, it is not cost effective, and we have been working with English Heritage to put in place a programme of work for this important building."

St Ann's is one of 13 Grade I and Grade II listed churches across the North-West to receive money from HLF, with grants totalling more than £1.9m issued in the region.

Others include the Parish Church of St Mary in Stockport, St Bridget's Old Church in Carlisle and St Mary Magdalene in Clitheroe, Lancashire.

The largest grant of £366,000 was awarded to Warrington's Church of St Oswald.

Sara Hilton, head of HLF North West, said the awards had been given as "historic places of worship are one of our most treasured cultural assets".

"They are one of the most instantly recognisable features of our cultural landscape, and they continue to inspire people to get involved with and learn about their shared history," she said.

"This is at the core of what the Heritage Lottery Fund wants to achieve and the reason we have substantially increased our investment to the programme."

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