£118k funding boost for St Andrew Wickhambreaux


A much-loved Kent church is to share in a £1.5 million funding payout thanks to an investment in church heritage by the Heritage Stimulus Fund, part of the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund.    

A £118,228 Grant will help fund work to the Grade I listed St Andrew’s and keep the church at the heart of the local community. St Andrew’s is one of 17 churches across the country receiving Heritage Stimulus Fund grants in this round of funding.

The funding comes from the Heritage Stimulus Fund, part of the Government's Culture Recovery Fund. Administered on behalf of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) by Historic England, the grants are aimed to support and bolster local economies and jobs across the country.

Money from the government's £2 billion Culture Recovery Fund is intended to open up heritage and the benefits it brings to everyone.

Claire Walker, CEO National Churches Trust said:

"Historic local places of worship are a vital part of our national heritage, but sadly, a shortage of available funding means that many are in a very poor state of repair."

"The £1.5 million investment in our grants scheme by the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund is incredibly good news. It comes on top of £2 million from the Culture Recovery Fund awarded to us in October 2021, money which is already funding urgent heritage repairs at 15 churches in England.”

“The funding is a vote of confidence in the future of historic church buildings and a recognition of their importance to society."

Huw Edwards, Vice-President of the National Churches Trust said:

"Local churches, chapels and meeting houses are the beating heart of local communities. It's great news that St Andrew’s is being helped on the recommendation of the National Churches Trust with funding from the Culture Recovery Fund. This will help protect heritage and keep churches open so that they can continue to support local people."

Duncan Wilson, Historic England's Chief Executive, said:

"Funding from the government's Culture Recovery Fund is hugely welcome at a time when the people and organisations who look after our vast and varied array of heritage urgently need support to carry out essential repairs. We are delighted that further historic sites and projects will benefit from this funding. It will add to the vital work of the Heritage Stimulus Fund in supporting irreplaceable heritage sites and places of worship across the country.”

The church  

St Andrew’s dates from the 14th century when the Earls of Kent were lords of the manor.

It features medieval glass in west window of south aisle depicting the beheading of St John the Baptist and is thought to be original to the building.

In 1767 Mary Young, commemorated by a fine wall tablet on the north side of the chancel left £100 ‘To the wainscoting and ornamenting this Chancel’. Conceivably part of this scheme was reused to form the pedimented screen dividing off the vestry at the west end of the south aisle.

A major restoration was undertaken in 1876-1877 by Ralph Nevill (1845-1917), a pupil of G.G.Scott, when the chancel was very heavily restored: the Georgian furnishings were removed and new fittings introduced, along with elaborate tiling in the sanctuary on the floor and to dado height.

The nave roof was painted blue and dotted with stars and an elaborate painted scheme introduced at high level here and above the east window.

A sumptuous Art Nouveau east window was donated by Count James Gallatin of New York in 1896. It is supposedly the first work by an American glass painter in Europe and is signed Arild Rosenkrantz (1870-1964).

The project 

The grant will facilitate roof repairs making the building watertight.