An open day is being held on Lundy as part of the fundraising appeal. A special MS Oldenburg sailing is departing from Ilfracombe at 10am on Sunday, September 25, returning at 6pm. Tickets are £25 per person, £12.50 for children or £65 for a family of four. A considerable saving on the usual fares and all the money raised will go directly to the St Helen’s Appeal!
Visitors will have the opportunity to learn more about the restoration project and there will be a church service led by Lundy’s Vicar Revd Brenda Jacobs. Revd Shirley Henderson, the recently retired Vicar of Lundy, will also be joining us
During the day the Marisco Tavern will be open for meals and refreshments and members of the Lundy Field Society will be on hand to tell you more about the island as they are celebrating their 70th anniversary with events on the island that week. There will also be an RNLI training exercise involving the MS Oldenburg that can be watched from the shore.
Our thanks to the islanders and the Landmark Trust for supporting the event and donating the boat fares to the appeal. We really hope you can join us!
Please call the Lundy Shore Office to book your tickets on 01271 863636.
We are grateful to Marc Holmes who was able to take a series of photos using his drone camera of the poor state of the church roof. You can clearly see the damaged areas and patching up that has been done in recent years. The ridge stones are in an especially parlous state.
Your support will help us re-roof the church securing the fabric of the building for many years to come. Internal investigations have shown that the supporting timbers are in an advanced state of decay and risk of complete loss is high especially if the winter storms are particularly severe.
At the end of April we welcomed the Reverend Brenda Jacobs as the Vicar of Lundy when she was installed as the Team Rector of the Hartland Coast Mission Community at St Nectan’s church, Stoke in Hartland.
Brenda joined the PCC when they travelled over to Lundy earlier that month and she attended a service led by Reverend Chris Baillie. We look forward to seeing her on the island as often as possible.
She has written a brief biography to introduce herself:
Well, if I am to become known to you all, a little introduction may help. I am married to Paul and we have 6 grown up children and almost as many golden retrievers. Most of the children, unlike the dogs, have left home but return frequently.
I was ordained in 2009 and served my curacy in Hereford City, where amongst other things, I looked after All Saints Church, which had a commercial café running inside! Before I was ordained I worked as a Primary school teacher at St. Paul’s in Hereford and prior to that as a co-ordinator for voluntary and community groups.
Paul and I love this part of the world, having holidayed here for over 30 years. We, and our dogs especially, love the sea and so it is a real privilege to now be able to live here in Hartland.
One of the great challenges of arriving as a new Vicar, is that of getting to know you all and all that goes on.
So if you see me around, help me out and stop and introduce yourself!
The St Helen’s Centre Steering Group was delighted to receive initial support from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for the conservation and development of the St Helen’s Centre on Lundy.
The Group aims to undertake major works to the church to provide a new centre on the island for learning, research and worship. Development funding of £74,900 has been awarded to the St Helen’s Centre Steering Group to help them progress their plans and to apply for a full grant at a later date.
Currently, the church is in a poor state of repair. The Group plans to completely recover the roofs, repoint the walls and relay the floors. As it has for the last 120 years, St Helen’s will continue as a place of worship and a place where people can celebrate important events in their lives such as baptisms and marriages. But, once repaired, the building will also provide educational facilities for the schools that come to visit Lundy’s unique natural environment and at present have no wet-weather base.
The St Helen’s Centre will also provide interpretation to help visitors learn more about the island’s fascinating history and nationally important wildlife. Facilities will be provided for special interest groups such as the Lundy Field Society and universities to undertake research and hold talks. As part of the project, volunteers and apprentices will be given the opportunity to learn traditional building skills, help repoint the walls and be involved in other building work.
St Helen’s Church is the most recent manifestation of a 1,300 year old Christian presence on Lundy. Externally austere, it has a colourful interior with polychromatic brickwork and floor tiles, beautiful carving and stained glass windows. It was designed by the notable Gothic revivalist architect, John Norton, most famous for his work at Tyntesfield near Bristol.
The St Helen’s Centre Steering Group need to raise £400,000 to match the funds they hope to receive from the HLF and is appealing to local people to help them reach this target.
Donations can be sent to the St Helen’s Church – Centre Appeal c/o The Lundy Shore Office, Bideford, Devon EX39 2LY.
The Reverend Shirley Henderson, Chair of the St Helen’s Centre Steering Group said: “I have to confess to giving a ‘whoop’ of joy when I heard this news. It’s a new beginning, a wonderful opportunity to continue the Revd Hudson Heaven’s vision for a place of Christian presence on this very special island and a resource for all who visit it, especially the next generation.”
Nerys Watts, Head of HLF South West, said: “We’re really pleased to offer our support to this project, which would secure the future of this wonderful building on Lundy, enhancing its place at the heart of the community and creating a base for the many visitors who visit the island to experience its fantastic natural heritage.”
Derek Green, Lundy General Manager, said: “We’re absolutely delighted to support the St Helens project and news that the initial bid has been approved by the HLF is absolutely tremendous. St Helens is one of the most iconic buildings on Lundy, standing as a beacon on the horizon for thousands of visitors arriving to the island. It’s fantastic that the HLF have recognised its importance to both the island and visitors but there will be much work needed to raise the outstanding funds required, and I would appeal to everyone who cares for Lundy to help bring the project to life by making a donation”
Andrew Cleave, from the Lundy Field Society, said: “The Lundy Field Society welcomes the news of the grant from HLF for the development of the St Helen’s Centre, and our members look forward to making use of the new improved facilities which will help us in the study and conservation of this unique island.”
Notes to editors
Owned by the Diocese of Exeter, St Helens Church was built in 1896-7 for the Reverend Heaven whose family, at the time, owned Lundy. It is statutorily listed as a building of national architectural and historic importance grade II.
The St Helen’s Centre, Lundy Steering Group is a partnership between the Diocese of Exeter, the Hartland Coast Mission Community, the Lundy Company, the National Trust, A Rocha UK, the Lundy Field Society, the Lundy Island Society of Change Ringers and the Amelia Anne Heaven Charitable Trust.
Owned by the National Trust, Lundy is financed, administered and managed by The Landmark Trust.
About the Heritage Lottery Fund From the archaeology under our feet to the historic parks and buildings we love, from precious memories and collections to rare wildlife, we use National Lottery players’ money to help people across the UK explore, enjoy and protect the heritage they care about. www.hlf.org.uk.