£18,000 awarded to Bethnal Green church to bring loo up to scratch

TV's Huw Edwards announcing cash for St Matthew's

TV's Huw Edwards announcing cash for St Matthew's - Credit: National Churches Trust

An £18,000 windfall to bring toilets and the kitchen up to modern standards at an 18th century Bethnal Green church has been announced by TV news presenter Huw Edwards.

The broadcaster and journalist is vice president of the National Churches Trust, which is dishing out £1.7 million to churches throughout the UK this year to help their recovery after lockdown.

“This safeguards a unique heritage,” he said. “The money will help St Matthew’s continue to support people as we begin to emerge from the Covid pandemic.” 

St Matthew's Church was used as an emergency food bank for parishioners in need at the height of the pandemic last year by the rector Erin Clark, who is now overseeing a project to modernize essential facilities to comply with the Disability Discrimination Act.

Rector Erin Clark... overseeing St Matthew's parish church upgrading. 

Rector Erin Clark... overseeing St Matthew's parish church upgrading. - Credit: Mike Brooke

She said: “A toilet or kitchen refurbishment never sounds exciting, but is essential to church life — we’ll be able to host activities with better accessibility when work is completed.”  

St Matthew’s was built in 1746. Fire destroyed the original interior a century later and a new church was opened in 1861.

However, the roof was destroyed in the Blitz in 1940, leaving the Georgian building in St Mathew's Row just a shell. It was finally rebuilt in 1961. 

Georgian splendour... St Matthew's Bethnal Green parish church 

Georgian splendour... St Matthew's Bethnal Green parish church - Credit: Google

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