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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Aerial photos of St Helen’s

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.

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Reverend Brenda Jacobs is the new Team Rector of the Hartland Coast Mission Community

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.

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St Helen’s Centre, Lundy wins Heritage Lottery Fund support

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.

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