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Funding boost for church

St James’ Church in Burton Lazars has received a funding boost in time for Christmas in the shape of a £10,000 National Churches Trust Community Grant to install A much-needed toilet, kitchen and meeting room.

The church also receives a £2,000 National Churches Trust Micro-Grant in partnership with the Cinnamon Network to help set up a Cinnamon Network recognised social action project to help local people.

The church is one of 93 churches and chapels in England, Wales and Scotland that are set to benefit from rescue funding of £680,230 from the National Churches Trust, the UK’s church support charity.
Janet King, Pioneer Minister at St James’ Church, said: "This generous grant from the National Churches Trust is an important step in our journey to ensure that our lovely 11th century building not only remains a desirable venue for services, festivals and special family events, but the installation of the new facilities will enable us to serve the community in fresh and exciting ways helped by the £2,000 Cinnamon Network Micro-Grant."
Huw Edwards, broadcaster and journalist and Vice-President of the National Churches Trust, said: "At the heart of communities in cities, towns and villages, churches are a treasure trove of architecture, history and faith.

"I’m delighted that St James’ church, Burton Lazars, will remain at the centre of the local community with the help of a £10,000 National Churches Trust Community Grant.

"This will help ensure the future of the church, with a fascinating history stretching back 900 years from a leper hospital to the inspiration for Chitty Chitty Bang Bang."
The project aims to make St James’ relevant and fit for purpose in the 21st century, enabling it to meet the religious and social needs of its congregation and wider community.

The church will install toilet facilities for the first time; create a kitchen area from which to serve food and drink; build a meeting room; install a new heating system; and rewire the electricity and lighting systems.

St James' provides a social focal point for the village and the wider community in partnership with the village hall. However, activities have been severely limited by the lack of a toilet, running water, and effective heating and lighting. The facilities will provide a safe, comfortable and low cost venue for the wider community, for concerts, welfare initiatives, coffee mornings, a crèche, and a carers' group.

St James’ Church is in the centre of Burton Lazars, where it has stood for over 900 years. Grade I listed, it has many significant architectural features including a 600-year-old font, a roof dating to the late medieval period with beautifully carved wooden bosses in the form of minstrels, and stunning stained glass windows reflecting its connection to the Order of St Lazarus. The Order ran a leper hospital from the twelfth century to the Reformation.

The churchyard contains the graves of the Zborowski family, who built and raced cars – one was the inspiration for ‘Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’.


Phil Balding, 06/12/2017

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