M&S Energy Fund

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.

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Easter Service in April 2017

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.

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North Devon Young People Repoint St Helen’s Tower

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.

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September Visit to Lundy

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.

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PCC Visit to Lundy

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.

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National Churches Trust grant award

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.

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Taking care of the Heaven’s artefacts

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.

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Work begins to restore St Helen’s

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!

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St Helen’s Centre Appeal – Lundy, Awarded National Lottery Support

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.

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Crowdfunder appeal launched

Help us to develop Lundy’s educational access to bring adventure and wonder to school children in the southwest.

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.

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Re-pointing of the church now complete

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.

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Special Oldenburg crossing for Open Day

Don’t forget to buy your tickets for our special sailing and open day on Sunday 25th September!

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

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