Heritage Lottery dishes out £780,000 for repairs to 8 listed London churches

'At risk'... Bethnal Green parish church tower

'At risk'... Bethnal Green parish church tower - Credit: Archant

More urgent repairs can now go ahead to help save eight of London’s listed churches which are at risk of falling to permanent disrepair.

Bethnal Green parish church

Bethnal Green parish church - Credit: Archant

The Heritage Lottery Fund is giving £780,000 to help carry out structural repairs and upgrade facilities.

They include repairing the original stonework of the Grade I-listed Bethnal Green parish church, one of the best-loved 19th century iconic places of worship in London’s East End which has been on the English Heritage ‘at risk’ register for two decades.

The parish has been given £62,000 to repair masonry, after being left high and dry during the Olympics summer when the company working on the church, Stone West, stopped trading—ironically in the middle of patching up the stonework on the west elevation.

Measures to restore the ageing structure built in 1828 by Sir John Soane began with a £127,000 Heritage grant in 2004 to fix stonework on the iconic bell tower, followed by £145,000 in 2008 for vestry roofs and £147,000 in 2009 for other roof repairs.

Much of Sloane’s Church of St John-on-Bethnal Green had to be restored in 1871 after fire destroyed the roof and interior, leaving just a shell. It was put on the ‘at risk’ register by English Heritage in 2011.

St John’s is one of eight of London’s “most important listed churches” getting Heritage cash for urgent structural repairs or upgrading such as adding kitchens and toilets to help keep the buildings in better use.

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The other churches getting a helping hand are St Mark’s in Westminster, St Matthias in Stoke Newington, St John-the-Baptist Greek Orthodox in Hornsey, St Margaret’s in Lewisham, St Peter’s in Ealing and St Augustine’s in South Croydon.