The St Helen’s Church on Lundy has received a confirmed grant of £999,600 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for the St. Helen’s Centre Appeal.
Thanks to money raised by National Lottery Players, the project can go ahead and enable the significant repair and refurbishment work on St Helen’s Church, which will save the church for future generations. The planned restoration work will also enable St Helen’s to become a centre for Lundy that will not only act as a refuge during periods of bad weather, it will also become a much-needed base for study by educational groups to gain a fuller understanding of broader environmental and conservation issues at the heart of Lundy’s existence. In addition, it will enable St Helen’s to become a centre for exhibitions and lectures – so becoming a more integral part of Lundy life, enhancing the experience of all who live on and visit the island.
The Church was built in 1897, but due to its location, it is exposed to very extreme weather conditions, which has resulted in the structural damage that can now be expertly repaired. Fund raising continues, to ensure that all aspects of the project can be fully completed at – sthelenslundy.co.uk.
Reverend Brenda Jacobs, team rector, said: “We are absolutely thrilled at the news of the substantial award from the National Lottery, which will help secure St Helen’s Church Lundy for generations to come. Worship has always been at the heart of all we do but this award will ensure that we can do so much more for all who live, visit and study here as a real hub of island life.”
Derek Green, Lundy general manager, commented: “St Helens is a fragile island treasure, a fine example of the Reverend Hudson Heaven’s ambitious 19th century vision for Lundy, which was at real risk of being lost forever. The church is of outstanding importance to the island’s heritage, community and visitor alike. Thanks to the National Lottery and all our supporters, we now have a fantastic opportunity to restore the church to its former glory and as well as maintaining a place for worship, create a new centre for education, research and study.
“St Helens has always stood as a beacon on the horizon on the approach to Lundy and news of its rescue will undoubtedly be welcome to the thousands of visitors who have had the opportunity to visit our extraordinary island.”
Adrian Redwood, volunteer project manager, added: “It is a real encouragement that the efforts of the many people involved in this project have been endorsed through this support from the Heritage Lottery Fund. The vision to create a multi-purpose facility for the church, island community, visitors and educational groups can now be realised and this iconic Lundy landmark restored for future generations. We would like to thank everyone who has donated to out appeal, and of course all the National Lottery players who will help to make our dream a reality. Exciting times ahead and a credit to all involved.”
Lundy sits some 23 miles from the nearest ports of Bideford and Ilfracombe and is served by the Landmark Trust’s passenger and supply ship, M.S. Oldenburg. The island is a haven for birdwatchers, climbers, divers and walkers as well as those looking to escape the rigmarole of mainland life. The island welcomes some 20,000 visitors per year and the island has 23 extraordinary self-catering properties, which are available to rent from the Landmark Trust. As well as St Helens Church, the island has three lighthouses, a pub and a shop.
Lundy is owned by the National Trust and managed by The Landmark Trust.
For information on Lundy Island, visit lundyisland.co.uk.