Christmas joy as St Thomas’s church receives funding boost
A much loved Swansea church is to share in a £429,211 funding payout from the National Churches Trust.
A £10,000 National Churches Trust Repair Grant will help fund urgent repairs to the leaking roof of Grade II listed St Thomas’s, making the church watertight and preserving its historic fabric.
Broadcaster and journalist Huw Edwards, Vice President of The National Churches Trust, said: “The UK’s historic churches and chapels are a vital part of our national heritage. But to survive, many need to carry out urgent repairs and install modern facilities. The cost of this work is far beyond what most congregations can pay for themselves.”
“So I’m delighted that St Thomas’s, Swansea, is being helped with a £10,000 National Churches Trust Grant. Urgent repairs to make the church watertight will help secure the future of an important community building.”
A total of 77 churches and chapels in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland will benefit from the latest grants from the National Churches Trust, the charity supporting church buildings of all Christian denominations across the UK.
In 2018 the National Churches Trust awarded grants of £1.2 million to help 202 projects at churches and chapels around the UK.
Demand for funding from the National Churches Trust continues to grow, with 583 grant applications received in 2018, up from 473 grant applications in 2017, a 23% increase.
The Grade II listed church was built in 1890 thanks to funding from the Grenfell family, leading industrialists who owned copper mines in Swansea and Cornwall.
The foundation stone was laid by F W Grenfell, a general who commanded army forces in Egypt and Ireland and was later made Baron Grenfell of Kilvey.
The church was repaired after it was hit by a bomb in 1940. Its spire is a Swansea landmark.
Faulty pipes, gulleys and roof slates have caused water to pour into the porch and down internal walls. The church floor is at risk of collapsing due to rot.
The project will replace a large section of the roof and renew waterproofing elements such as drains, pipes and lead gulleys. Brickwork will be repaired and the building’s interior will be able to dry out.
Once the work is complete, the church will be open six days a week. It will provide a night shelter for the homeless and host a food bank.
There are plans to have a classroom in the church for one week a year so children can learn about Swansea’s copper industry. A permanent heritage area will explain about the bombing of the church.
Rev Steven Bunting, from St Thomas’s Church, said:
“We are so grateful for the invaluable support of the National Churches Trust. Their generous gift allows us to begin the work of transforming St Thomas Church into a community hub to serve all in the parish. People will see the work beginning on January 7 and over the next 12 months the church will be transformed beyond recognition and we are so excited for the future.”