A £20,000 National Churches Trust Cornerstone Grant will help fund the installation of four toilets and a refreshment area at Doncaster Minster, a Grade I listed church, helping it to better serve its community. The Minster is currently on the Historic England At Risk Register.
Broadcaster and journalist Huw Edwards, Vice President of The National Churches Trust, said: “The UK's historic churches and chapels are a vital part of our national heritage and have done so much to help local people during the COVID-19 lockdown. But to survive, many need to carry out urgent repairs and install modern facilities. The cost of this work is far beyond what most congregations can pay for themselves.
So, I’m delighted that Doncaster Minster is being helped with a £20,000 National Churches Trust Cornerstone Grant. The grant is an early Christmas present for the historic church and will help secure the future of this magnificent building and help remove it from the Historic England At Risk Register.”
A total of 45 churches and chapels in England, Wales and Northern Ireland will benefit from the latest grants from the National Churches Trust, the charity supporting church buildings of all Christian denominations across the UK.
In 2020 the Trust has awarded 260 grants totalling £1,723,000, including recommendations on behalf of other funders with £200,000 of the funding provided by the Wolfson Foundation.
Grants will be available in 2021 to projects at churches, chapels and meeting houses and applications can be made by Christian places of worship in the UK that are open for regular worship. From repairing a roof to helping to install an accessible toilet - and many other projects - the National Churches Trust’s grants help keep churches open for worship and community activities and allow them to continue to serve local people and communities.
Doncaster Minster is the most prominent building in the town and can be seen for miles around in every direction; its significance is recognised in its status as a Grade 1 listed building. The present building, designed by Sir George Gilbert Scott, was completed in 1858 to replace the Medieval church that was destroyed by fire in 1853. The distinctive architecture, the impressive Victorian stained-glass windows, the magnificent Schulze Organ and many other features all serve to encourage the visitor to explore and appreciate this gem in the heart of Doncaster.
Awarded Minster status in 2004 by the Bishop of Sheffield, it serves Doncaster and the surrounding area and provides a cultural asset, an entertainment venue, an educational resource and daily worship for all.
The project will support the installation of four toilets and a refreshment point in the north-west aisle. Installation of the facilities into the Minster, where there are none at present, will enable it to offer more opportunities to the community it serves.
Canon David Stevens, Vicar of the Minster said: “We are pleased to be the recipient of this Cornerstone Grant from the National Churches Trust which will enable us to install these basic, but necessary, facilities for the people who use the Minster in so many different ways. The grant will help us achieve our target of installation of these new facilities early in 2021.”