Following completion of the St Helen’s Centre project, the website has been transformed in to one for the church, not just the project fundraising.
Thank you to everyone who voted for us for the M&S Community Energy Fund. Unfortunately we did not secure enough votes and did not receive the grant.
The competition to win grants from this year’s Community Energy Fund was fierce with a record number of votes cast. After a very tough decision, all the remaining funds have been allocated and the Lundy project was not selected for a judge’s prize this year.
We are still raising funds – you can donate through website, by post or text message. Please help us if you can – every penny counts! https://www.sthelenslundy.co.uk/donate/
During Easter 2017 a group of friends booked the whole island for a family celebration. As a Christian family they very much wanted the church to be at the centre of their celebrations and even brought their own ministers and musicians with them!
It was the last service to take place before the church was closed for the restoration work so it became extra special.
The video also has some lovely aerial shots of the island.
Jane Elliott, Youth Support Worker for Seize the Moment, reports on recent involvement of Devon young people in the project.
On Tuesday 26th September a group of six young people aged 18-25 sailed from Bideford to take part in the restoration work at St Helen’s on Lundy. The members of the group are all local to North Devon and four of the youngsters had been to Lundy previously on residential visits with the community group Seize the Moment.
The work we had been asked to do would involve joining the stonemasons 40ft up the scaffold on the church tower to remove crumbling lime mortar and repoint the granite stonework.
For the young people in our party who had not been to Lundy before it was a breath-taking moment as we stepped off the ship to be greeted by seals in the landing bay. We arrived at midday and made our way straight to the church at the top of the Island.
In the past we have made nine residential trips to Lundy staying in the Barn with parties of young people for five days. When the weather has been poor we have spent days in St Helen’s using the space for art, film and drama sessions. We were delighted when we heard of the new plans for the church and the four young people who had stayed on Lundy were impressed by the rapid progress made by the team of contractors at the site.
We were taken into the porch and given full protective clothing and a safety briefing. We then ascended the tower.
The rest of the day was spent chipping and filling. We were able to talk to the stonemasons about their work and the importance of the project. Matt Morgan explained how beer stone was used around the windows and we were fascinated to see tiny fossils embedded in the stonework above the statue of St Helen.
The time went past very quickly and at 4.30 when the masons told us it was time to stop for the day no one moved and they all wanted to stay. As a reward for the work achieved the young people were then taken up the scaffold to the top of the tower where they could see the new roof and slates being added.
We all agreed this is a brilliant project for Lundy. As we sailed home at dusk the sunset lit up the church standing shrouded in scaffold; the group felt very proud to have been involved and we plan to return.
Seize the Moment is a not-for-profit company of youth workers, young people, artists, musicians, technicians, set up to provide improved access to skills and social opportunities in Torridge and North Devon.
The PCC visited Lundy recently for a project progress meeting and a tour of the building site. We endured a long and rather rough crossing to the island before reaching the church and we were really excited to see the works progressing well, especially in the vestry and at the rear of the nave.
The font has been relocated and the slates are going on the roof with the chancel roof already completed.
We had a maximum of three hours on the island, including walking up and down from the Landing Bay so lunch and the meeting were rather cut short but it was a successful trip and much smoother crossing back to the mainland!
Thanks to Heritage Lottery funding and working with the Landmark Trust we’re really pleased to be able to offer this post of Seasonal School Engagement Officer to manage a programme of activities for schools and visitors that will use the church as an educational base.
SEASONAL SCHOOL ENGAGEMENT OFFICER
A Seasonal School Engagement Officer position has arisen to assist the full time Warden on Lundy Island in the Bristol Channel. Lundy is a stunning and unique island, designated a SSSI and SAC it also supports the UK’s first Marine Conservation Zone with No Take Zone. A key part of the role will be to improve the quality of the Island’s education ‘offer’ and to provide opportunities for more school pupils to visit the Island and participate in educational activities.
Work will involve managing a programme of educational activities for visitors and schools, incorporating: outreach talks, facilitated visits to Lundy, guided walks and other age-appropriate on-Island activities for school pupils. Supporting other areas such as the Tavern and Housekeeping may also be required at busy times.
The position is live-in and starts in April 2018 and runs until the end of October 2018. The workload will be varied and a flexible approach is required. Enthusiasm is essential combined with a love for the outdoors, wildlife and visitor engagement. The ideal candidate will have a friendly personality, a flexible approach and enthusiasm to integrate into island life.
Accommodation along with travel will be provided.
For an application form and job description please call 01237 423233 or email: email@example.com.
Closing date for applications is Wednesday 11th October 2017. Interviews will be held on Wednesday 18th October.
We really need your help to secure a grant of £12,000 from the M&S Energy Fund! They are running a regional vote where a number of projects are competing for the grant so your vote for the Lundy church project will make a huge difference!
We have secured HLF funding for the majority of the work and have commenced with the essential repair of the roof but are looking to fund the full fit out of the church and make it more energy efficient with the installation of air source heat pumps.
The provision of background heating will enable the centre to be used by all groups in a more comfortable and safe manner. It will benefit the 18,000 visitors to the island, the church users, community and education groups.
The refurbished and heated space will be able to provide a space for; the island warden for school visits and demonstrations, the Lundy Field Society for talks and lectures, the only community space on the island and a place of worship.
The PCC had a successful visit to Lundy in early August. It was an early start with an 8 o’clock departure from Bideford and a smooth crossing to Lundy. We visited the church to see progress with works and what was most striking on entering the building was the progress with the restoration of the ‘east’ window above the altar. The gothic arch will be restored, bringing the window back to the shape it was when St Helen’s was built by the Heavens. This window has been square since it was damaged in a storm in 1962.
Works were progressing well in the vestry and it is now possible to see how the space is divided up into a bedroom, bathroom and a living space that includes a kitchenette and space for study. We saw that the font had been dismantled for its relocation to the front of the nave.
There has been lots of discussion about the refurbishment of the pews. When they were removed from the walls in the church, they were found to be in a much worse condition than we had anticipated and severely rotten. We hoped to retain some of them but it looked like this would not be possible. Thanks to the ingenuity of project carpenter John, a number of pews have been adapted, using the good ends and stabilised so they can not only be retained but moved around when necessary.
A project team meeting with the architect and a PCC meeting followed. We had lots to discuss and most importantly the fundraising situation. We were pleased to learn that we have received a £20,000 grant from the National Churches Trust but there is still a long way to go to reach our target of £150,000.
Please do consider making a donation to our project to help us reach our target and enable the works to be completed. Click the Donate button above!
We are really pleased to announce that we have been awarded a grant of £20,000 by the National Churches Trust! The grant is specifically for the urgent roof repairs, and structural repairs to the walls and tower.
The restoration of the church will ensure many future uses for the the building beyond worship, including housing exhibition boards which provide information to the many visitors on various aspects of the island’s history and ecology, and using it as a venue for teaching and talks for visiting school groups and researchers. St Helen’s will become a much needed base for study to give a fuller understanding of broader environmental and conservation issues at the heart of Lundy’s existence.
Revd Brenda Jacobs, Rector of Lundy, said:
“We are very grateful for the support of the National Churches Trust and their grant of £20,000. They have caught our vision for St Helen’s which will remain as the centre of worship on the island but will also provide a place of sanctuary, study and refreshment to all who visit Lundy. We look forward to the reopening of the church and welcoming visitors once more.”
There are further details about the grant on the National Churches Trust website: http://www.nationalchurchestrust.org/places-we-helped/st-helen-11
Lundy’s Assistant Churchwarden is island resident Shelley Sherman. Before the restoration project started, Shelley looked after the church on a daily basis and she was married there in October 2016. She works for the Landmark Trust and is the friendly face that welcomes visitors to Lundy is the Marisco Tavern’s reception.
Shelley has been looking after the magnificent eagle lectern and other objects from the church including the collection plates. All are made of oak and had become really faded during their time in the church so whilst the building’s restoration project is underway Shelley is taking care of the items and here she tells us about the work she has been doing.
When emptying the church the 6’ eagle lectern found its way, travelling in a trailer behind a quad bike, to my home, along with other wooden objects. Being rather large I began working on it immediately. The first thing to do was a thorough clean involving a soft cloth and a toothbrush, that was when I realized it would not be a quick job, feathers, eyes and scroll work at the base took the most time.
Next I started at the top and using another toothbrush dipped in olive oil slowly worked my way across the feathers, beak and down the neck. Smoother areas like the vertical part of the stand were quicker as I used my hands to apply the oil. After twelve hours spread over two weeks the lectern was moved out and is now living in the office, until the church is completed, glowing with health! Our lounge seemed strangely empty now!
The project’s steering group and PCC recently made a visit to Lundy to see the work progressing on the church. It was an amazing sight to behold with the building clad is scaffolding!
The old roof is being repaired and the new tiles are about to be fitted.
Internally all the pews have been removed from their locations to enable access to the walls to remove rubble which was compromising the damp course. Many of the pews are quite rotten but a number will be restored and returned to the church.
The old vestry sleeping platform has been removed and a new floor inserted at a lower level resulting in extra headroom. A study space, kitchenette and a shower room will be constructed in the room below.
Having the scaffold around the church resulted in plenty of opportunities for photos. A close up of the statue of St Helen (“Sancta Helena”) on the tower wall was possible which is in good condition. It has revealed the extent of the known cracks in the tower and the very poor state of the clock face.
We still have £150,000 to raise so please continue to contribute to our project. Your donations can help restore the clock, repair a pew or support the restoration of a window. Please click the donate button above to support us. Thank you.
We’re really pleased to announce that following the announcement of the Heritage Lottery Fund award, work is beginning to restore St Helen’s for the island’s visitors and resident community.
We’ve been busy appointing a project manager, Jeremy Dunn from Ward Williams Associates, and mobilising a contractor Splitlath. We hope to provide more information on them soon!
On Tuesday 9th May 26 tons of scaffolding was delivered to Lundy on board the ‘Severn Seas’ which sailed out of Swansea. Shaun Gay from Splitlath was on site to receive it and it will start going up around the building immediately.
Please do continue to donate to the project! We have a shortfall of £150,000 so your contributions will make a significant difference to the success of the project. You can donate by clicking the red ‘Donate’ tab above. Thank you.
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, it was announced today. 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.
But more than that, the planned restoration work will 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, additionally, the plans 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 this wonderful location.
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.
Fundraising continues, to ensure that all aspects of the project can be fully completed at – www.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 Helen’s 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 our 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.”
Notes to Editors
About St Helen’s Centre Appeal
In 2010 a steering group was formed to plan the restoration of St. Helen’s and use it for educational and research purposes as well as worship. The parish of Lundy was created in December 2013. The Appeal was launched in 2015 and the first phase application to the Heritage Lottery Fund was made, which was successful. After a lot of hard work and tremendous commitment from the steering group, this second phase application was made in November 2016.
The St Helens Steering Group is supported by the following organisations:
- The Diocese of Exeter
- The Landmark Trust
- The Lundy Island Society of Bell-ringers
- A Rocha
- The Lundy Field Society
Lundy sits some 23 miles from the nearest port 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 around c. 20k 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 Helen’s Church, the Island has three lighthouses, a pub and a shop.
About the Heritage Lottery Fund
Thanks to National Lottery players, we invest money to help people across the UK explore, enjoy and protect the heritage they care about – from the archaeology under our feet to the historic parks and buildings we love, from precious memories and collections to rare wildlife. www.hlf.org.uk. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and use #HLFsupported.
For further information, images and interviews please contact:
Revd. Brenda Jacobs – Team Rector Hartland Coast Mission Community
Tel: 01237 441271 email: Jacobs200@btinternet.com
Adrian Redwood – Volunteer Project Manager
Tel: 07546 846008 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
We have now launched a Crowdfunder project to help with the funding – specifically to help the educational aspects of the Appeal.
Around 350 school children visit Lundy to explore the island’s natural wonders, including the largest seabird colony in the southwest, discover a wealth of marine creatures in its rockpools and seek out the many clues to its varied history such as St Helen’s church, the Old Lighthouse and Benson’s Cave. The only place for shelter, during periods of inclement weather (rain, wind, hail), is St Helen’s church as it is the largest building on the island. Presently, the building is not suited to engage educational groups and does not provide the facilities that would enhance and support their visits the island.
Visit the Crowdfunder page to find out more about this aspect of the appeal, and donate online.
The re-pointing of the main body of the church is now complete (except for a small area above the altar window that will be a separate restoration project) and work has started on the lower part of the tower.
A group of volunteers have been working on essential repairs to prevent the building from deteriorating beyond economic repair. We still have some slates missing from the roof, but re-pointing work to the walls has ensured that the wind driven rain is prevented from entering the building.
It has all been made possible by the work of Charlie Smith and his many volunteers so we owe a huge thank you to all of the volunteers who have helped to complete this essential piece of work.