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St Mary’s Church Lydiard Tregoze Conservation Project 2016

We are pleased to announce that St. Mary’s Church submitted its formal application to the Heritage Lottery Fund on 15 August 2016. The total cost of the project is £1,068,700, and the grant we have requested from the Heritage Lottery Fund is £746700. St Mary’s will need to raise the balance of £322,000, of which we have already raised or secured £167,000. The scheme will restore St. Mary’s historic interiors and make it more accessible to the public with access improvements, imaginative interpretation and lively education programmes. The main focus of this application is  the conservation of the extensive medieval wall paintings, which have been identified by the Church of England as one of the 100 artworks currently most in need of conservation  in their 100 Church Treasures Appeal.Appeal Chairman Paul Gardner said “St. Mary’s is widely regarded as one of the most important small churches in the country and I know from the reaction of the many people who come to visit it, how amazed they are to see its treasures. But it desperately needs funds to prevent its historic interiors deteriorating further.”

Over the last 5 years the church has successfully raised  funds to restore the buildings structure and make it weather tight, and in June this year we celebrated the restoration of the 18th century Reredos - the beautifully painted panels behind the altar which had been gradually disintegrating. ‘‘While we await the outcome of our Heritage Lottery Application, carrying out the work to the Reredos has kept interest in the project alive and shown the public that their donations to our appeal fund are being used to continue to restore and conserve the building’s beautiful interiors’’ said Paul Gardner.

Conserving the Reredos, along with associated building works, was a £40,000 project with funds raised from the congregation, wider public and grants from Wiltshire Historic Churches Trust, Allchurches Trust, Jill Franklin Trust, the St Andrews Conservation Trust and the William & Jane Morris Trust. The work, which took 6 months to complete, was carried out by the internationally-acclaimed conservator Jane Rutherfoord .
The newly restored Reredos was rededicated and blessed on 12 June 2016 at a Choral Evensong celebrating H M the Queens 90th birthday.

The next major opening of St Mary’s when all its treasures will be on show including the last public viewing this year of the St John Polyptych will be on 9 -11 September 2016 as part of Heritage weekend, with St Mary’s taking part in Heritage Open Days - www.heritageopendays.org

We need to actively continue fundraising whilst we await the outcome of our application to the Heritage Lottery Fund which we expect to be announced by the end December 2016

Paul Gardner
The Reredos, with St Mary’s member Joan Rumming, and conservator Jane Rutherfoord