Heather Church awarded grant for community heritage project


 

St John the Baptist Church in the Leicester village of Heather has received a confirmed grant of £169,800 from the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

 

The money will help fund the Tower Crusade for Heather project which aims to do urgent repair work to the church tower and to encourage a wide range of heritage activities. Work will start this summer and be accompanied by heritage activities for local school children and communities.

 

The work will include carrying out essential repair work to the 14th century tower and, together with Ibstock Historical Society and Heather school, the project will produce history and heritage trails both for adults and children. There will be opportunities to learn craft skills and emergency First Aid, as well as finding out about lead-casting and conservation work. Young people can also learn about the fascinating history of the church and its links with the Knights of St John by using the children’s trail or through fun sessions ‘Night with a Knight’.

 

St John the Baptist is a medieval church set in the heart of the village of Heather in Leicestershire. Built on the site of an earlier chapel of the knights of St John Hospitaller (forerunners of the modern St John Ambulance), the first recorded priest was Thomas in 1220, and the first four priests are believed to have been priors of the order who lived at their preceptory on the site of the manor house next door.

 

Commenting on the award, Revd Patty Bailey (project manager) said, “We’re delighted that this project can go ahead, thanks to National Lottery players. The church is a focal point in the village and it has a fascinating history, so it’s great to think we will be able to secure its future for generations to come.”

 

St John the Baptist is a medieval church set in the heart of the village of Heather in Leicestershire and built on the site of an earlier chapel of the Knights of St John. There is a weekly service each Sunday, and as well as conducting christenings, weddings and funerals, the church runs social activities for the community and takes part in the annual Heather scarecrow festival.




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