Search

Prayers answered for churches in a fix over leaky roofs

PUBLISHED: 16:01 06 March 2009 | UPDATED: 14:09 05 October 2010

St John-on-Bethnal Green (top) and the ornate interior (above) of St Leonard's at Shoreditch

St John-on-Bethnal Green (top) and the ornate interior (above) of St Leonard's at Shoreditch

HISTORIC houses of worship in London have had their prayers answered with more than £1 million lottery life line’ to stop them crumbling under their leaky roofs. Six churches and a synagogue get a share of a £1,281,000 kitty dished out this week by English Heritage and the National Lottery for listed Grade I and Grade II buildings. They include three churches in East London

By Mike Brooke

HISTORIC houses of worship in London have had their prayers answered with more than £1 million lottery life line’ to stop them crumbling under their leaky roofs.

Six churches and a synagogue get a share of a £1,281,000 kitty dished out this week by English Heritage and the National Lottery for listed Grade I and Grade II buildings.

They include three churches in East London, John Soane’s 18th century St John’s-on-Bethnal Green which is struggling to fix its roof and clock tower, St Leonard’s at Shoreditch reputed to be on the site of Shakespeare’s place or worship, and St Mark’s in Dalston often referred to as The Cathedral of the East End.’

IMPORTANT ROLE

Bethnal Green’s vicar, The Rev Alan Green, said: “Our beautiful church plays an increasingly important role in the East End. The restoration would simply not be possible without English Heritage and others.”

The 18th century St John’s in Cambridge Heath Road is on the Buildings at Risk’ register. So its £145,000 grant is being welcomed to sort out the vestry roof and rain damage to brick and stonework.

A mile away, Shoreditch Church is also getting cash to patch up its roof.

The vicar, The Rev Paul Turp, said: “An old building of historic importance to the nation like ours can be adapted for today’s wide community value, with our drop-in centre and residential unit helping people off the streets.”

SHAKESPEARE’S CHURCH

The original church going back to the 13th century was pulled down in 1736 and the present St Leonard’s was built in 1740. Its chancel window and a tablet are relics of the original church reputed to be where Shakespeare said his prayers.

The £205,000 grant will sort out the flat roof and restore the 200-year-old gates.

St Mark’s in Dalston, London’s biggest parish church completed in 1870 and often called the Cathedral of the East End,’ gets £74,000 to repair the leaky roof which The Rev Joseph Zvimba said has been “made a lot worse” by the recent stormy weather.

The other London places of worship getting lottery cash are Union Chapel in Islington, St Mary Magdalene in Paddington, St Augustine’s in Kensington and New West End Synagogue in Bayswater.


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the East London Advertiser. Click the link in the orange box below for details.

Most Read

Most Read

Latest from the East London Advertiser