A much-loved Montgomeryshire church is to share in a £265,000 funding payout from the National Churches Trust.

A £10,000 National Churches Trust Grant will help fund the installation of two toilets and a kitchen extension at the Grade II listed church of St Nicholas’, Churchstoke, making the church better able to serve its community.

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.”

“I’m delighted that the St Nicholas’ church, Churchstoke, is being helped with a £10,000 National Churches Trust Cornerstone Grant. The work on the installation of toilets and a kitchen extension will help provide up to date facilities at the church so that it can be used for a wide range of activities.”

63 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 2019, the Trust distributed over £1.2 million to help churches and chapels tackle urgent repairs, maintenance work and install modern facilities such as kitchens and toilets.

A wide range of grants from the National Churches Trust will be available to help places of worship in 2020 and full details can be found at www.nationalchurchestrust.org/grants

The church: The original medieval church is mentioned in the Domesday Book (1086) and for much of this period was staffed by Augustinian monks from neighbouring Chirbury Priory. A font from this period was recently rescued from the churchyard.

In 1881, a major reordering was undertaken by the Rev Robert Moore-White, Vicar of Churchstoke for 60 years and the church was laid out in its present form.

The vicar commented that "the pews had been so arranged that one half of the congregation were looking at the other half. Whether they were considering the bonnets that were worn or winking at each other he could not tell."

The tower has some marks caused by gunfire: in 1646 Parliamentary forces attacked a Royalist contingent which had taken refuge in the church. A contemporary said there had been a ‘hotte bickering’ at the church!

The project: The project will help fund the installation of two toilets and a kitchen extension.

The Rev Carol Whittock, Mission Priest at St Nicholas’, said: "We are delighted to be awarded this grant and are very grateful to the National Churches Trust.

"Our vision here in St Nicholas’ is to make our church building fit for purpose for worship and mission in the 21st century.

"We also want to provide our community of Churchstoke with a quality venue, enabling gatherings for exhibitions, concerts, arts and cultural activities as well as worship.

"The installation of toilets is part of our project: Faith for the Future, which will make all these things possible and we are looking forward to making this happen."



1. Photos of Huw Edwards and the churche are attached.

About the National Churches Trust

The National Churches Trust is the leading national independent charity concerned with the protection and welfare of churches, chapels and meeting houses throughout the United Kingdom. We aim to:

a) Provide grants for the repair, maintenance and modernisation of church buildings

b) Act as a catalyst to improve and bring more resources to the management of church buildings

c) Promote the value of church buildings to the community at large

For more information visit www.nationalchurchestrust.org