Heritage Lottery Fund Application

Return to  St Sylvester’s

St Sylvester’s Church Renovation and Community Project, Chivelstone Parish, Kingsbridge

Our application for a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund was finally sent off on Wednesday 23 May.

Now it is a question of waiting probably until the middle of September before we will hear anything concrete. Although there is still plenty of preparation work that will need to be done.


Below is the text of an email sent out by Mark Jennings on 18 February 2018 giving information about the application to the Heritage Lottery Fund for the repairs of St Sylvester’s Church Chivelstone. As more information becomes available, this page will be updated.

Update on our Heritage Lottery Grant Application

Since we last wrote to you about our plans to apply for a Grant from the Heritage Lottery  Fund (HLF) to repair the Church, we have had initial reports from Conservators, for the Rood Screen and the Pulpit, as well as Structural Reports on the fabric of the Church from a Quantity Surveyor. From these estimates the total cost to put the church back into good repair came to nearly £1,000,000.

We have had several meetings with the HLF to discuss our application and we have taken their advice that it would be very unlikely that we would get a grant for this amount in one go. We have therefore decided to divide the plan into three parts. The first part would be to do all the structural and rain proofing repairs to make the Church dry and warmer. This will involve re-pointing almost the entire Church, replacing all the gutters and downpipes, stabilising the South Porch as well as other measures. In addition we plan to install a toilet, erect a glass screen across the arch in front of the bell ringing platform to reduce heat loss, remove the back pews to give us a workable space for other activities, and clean the pulpit to restore it to its former glory. The cost of this will be £400,000.

Cleaning the pulpit will be a “taster” for the full restoration of the Rood Screen and the Parclose screen, which, together with installing a kitchen, restoring and repairing the internal decorations, improving the heating and disabled facilities etc will take place in the next stages.

Our timetable is to finish all the formal paperwork to put in the first application at the end of May, this year. We will hear if we are successful, or not, in the middle of September. If we are successful we will get funding to pay for detailed competitive quotes and specifications required for the final stage of this application at the end of 2019. If we then get the go ahead the work will start as soon as possible thereafter. Getting this “first round” funding does not absolutely guarantee that we will get the full funding to go ahead with the repairs at the end of 2019, but our chances would be good.

In order to get to this stage we have had to show that we are able to provide matching funding to commission all the reports and investigation we need to get over the next year. We are therefore extremely grateful to everyone who has made a donation. These efforts have swelled our funds to the point where we are able to comply with the HLF rules for making our application, but we will need to continue raising funds to provide more matched funding to proceed with the full works. Apart from raising money the generosity of the donations has demonstrated to the HLF the enthusiasm in the community for the project. This has helped our chances greatly.

We have been told that our chances of success in getting a Grant are “better than average”, so we hope that everyone will continue to support us.

Current plans for the use of the space liberated by removing the back pews include having a display of the local history, being able to have refreshment facilities at concerts etc. and having a Children’s corner. We also plan to install wifi so that we can have History Society displays, and provide an information brochure on the Church for visitors. The History Society website plans to have a page with updated information on progress.

Finally, and very importantly, the Wakeham family have very kindly offered to let us provide all the year round Car Parking facilities in the field opposite the Church. This will make an enormous difference to encouraging tourists to come and visit the Church and also make it much easier for us to hold concerts and other events in the Church.

For more information please contact us by email or phone.

Mark Jennings  markjennings04@gmail.com  01548 511382

Vicky Tucker tuckersatprawle@btconnect.com 01548 511332