An East Northants village has been awarded almost £160,000 of lottery funding to repair its historic 700-year-old church.
St Margaret’s Church in Luddington in the Brook has received £159,400 from the Heritage Lottery Fund, awarded through its Grants for Places for Worship programme.
The 700-year-old parish church is a Grade II Listed building, but a deterioration in the condition of the building over recent years led to it being placed on the Historic England Heritage at Risk Register in 2014.
The grant will enable a programme of urgent repair works to the roofs, rainwater goods, masonry and windows, as well as upgrading the groundwater drainage system and installing new heating.
Churchwarden Sarah Wills said: “This is truly amazing news.
“We are thrilled to have received the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund and we are extremely grateful to everyone who has worked so hard to get us to this point, and to those who have pledged support for the next phase of this exciting project.
“This grant will enable us to restore the building and to preserve it for future generations to enjoy – something that was well beyond our modest means alone.
“We are also very excited about starting work on the programme of activities that will enable more people to visit this lovely building.
“Luddington in the Brook has lots and lots of history but this is the only community space in the village.”
The grant will also fund the development of a range of activities to attract people to visit the historic building and surrounds.
These include researching the village landscape history and creating a circular walk from the church and a historical interpretation of changing settlement patterns.
It will also enable the creation of a wildlife area in the churchyard and work towards gaining a conservation churchyard award, the development of a welcome leaflet and children’s heritage trail, and the creation of a website to publicise events and activities.