St Peter’s Church in Raunds has received initial support from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for its Great Past, Greater Future project.
The project aims to restore and refurbish the building and deliver an exciting programme of activities and events based on its heritage.
Development funding of £40,500 has been awarded to help St Peter’s progress their plans to apply for a full grant at a later date.
If that application is successful it is hoped that the restoration and refurbishment works will begin later this year.
The project aims to underpin part of the building and restore to their full glory important stained glass windows as well as a series of rare medieval wall paintings.
There will be activities and events for visitors of all ages, including for schools, to discover more about the history of St Peter’s, its art and architecture.
There will also be opportunities for people to develop conservation skills and for volunteers to train to help deliver the activity programme.
Church warden Maureen Windust said: “We’re delighted that the Heritage Lottery Fund has given us this support.
“This wonderful building has been at the heart of its community for 800 years and it’s great to know that we are a step closer to ensuring that St Peter’s not only has a great past but an even greater future.”
Jonathan Platt, head of Heritage Lottery Fund East Midlands, said: “Having stood in this community for so many years, St Peter’s Church provides a great starting point for people to explore the varied heritage of Raunds and the surrounding area.
“Thanks to National Lottery players, I’m delighted that this fascinating building with its rare features will now be fully restored for future generations to enjoy.”
A volunteers open day is being held at the church from 10.30am to 2.30pm on Saturday, February 13.
It will be an opportunity for potential volunteers to meet members of the project team, see how the restoration work is progressing and find out more about the volunteering roles available.
These roles include reception staff, tour guides and activity leaders, as well as a volunteer coordinator and administrator.
A training scheme for volunteers is in place, and people from any age group, faith or non-faith, will be welcome whether you have just a couple of hours a week or more time to spare.
Light refreshments will be provided at the open day and anyone interested in attending on February 13 is invited to contact the organisers in order to assist them in ordering refreshments.
St Peter’s Church is one of four parish churches within the Four Spires benefice which is within the Higham Deanery and the diocese of Peterborough.