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.

The Church was built in 1897, but due to its location, it is exposed to very extreme weather conditions, which has resulted in the structural damage that can now be expertly repaired.

Fundraising continues, to ensure that all aspects of the project can be fully completed at – www.sthelenslundy.co.uk.

Reverend Brenda Jacobs – Team Rector said:

“We are absolutely thrilled at the news of the substantial award from the National Lottery which will help secure St Helen’s Church Lundy for generations to come. Worship has always been at the heart of all we do but this award will ensure that we can do so much more for all who live, visit and study here as a real hub of island life.”

Derek Green, Lundy General Manager commented:

“St Helen’s is a fragile Island treasure, a fine example of the Reverend Hudson Heaven’s ambitious 19th century vision for Lundy, which was at real risk of being lost forever. The Church is of outstanding importance to the Island’s heritage, community and visitor alike. Thanks to the National Lottery and all our supporters, we now have a fantastic opportunity to restore the church to its former glory and as well as maintaining a place for worship, create a new centre for education, research and study. St Helens has always stood as a beacon on the horizon on the approach to Lundy and news of its rescue will undoubtedly be welcome to the thousands of visitors who have had the opportunity to visit our extraordinary island.”

Adrian Redwood, Volunteer Project Manager added:

“It is a real encouragement that the efforts of the many people involved in this project have been endorsed through this support from the Heritage Lottery Fund. The vision to create a multi-purpose facility for the church, island community, visitors and educational groups can now be realised and this iconic Lundy landmark restored for future generations. We would like to thank everyone who has donated to our appeal, and of course all the National Lottery players who will help to make our dream a reality. Exciting times ahead and a credit to all involved.”

Notes to Editors
About St Helen’s Centre Appeal
In 2010 a steering group was formed to plan the restoration of St. Helen’s and use it for educational and research purposes as well as worship. The parish of Lundy was created in December 2013. The Appeal was launched in 2015 and the first phase application to the Heritage Lottery Fund was made, which was successful. After a lot of hard work and tremendous commitment from the steering group, this second phase application was made in November 2016.

The St Helens Steering Group is supported by the following organisations:

  • The Diocese of Exeter
  • The Landmark Trust
  • The Lundy Island Society of Bell-ringers
  • A Rocha
  • The Lundy Field Society

The parish of St Helen’s is part of the Hartland Coast Mission Community www.hartlandcoastchurches.org.uk – which in turn is part of the Exeter Diocese www.exeter.anglican.org

Lundy sits some 23 miles from the nearest port of Bideford and Ilfracombe and is served by the Landmark Trust’s Passenger and supply ship, M.S. Oldenburg. The Island is a haven for birdwatchers, climbers, divers and walkers as well as those looking to escape the rigmarole of mainland life. The Island welcomes around c. 20k visitors per year and the Island has 23 extraordinary self-catering properties which are available to rent from the Landmark Trust. As well as St Helen’s Church, the Island has three lighthouses, a pub and a shop.

Lundy [other than the church] is owned by the National Trust and managed by The Landmark Trust – Web www.landmarktrust.org.uk, Island Information – www.lundyisland.co.uk

About the Heritage Lottery Fund
Thanks to National Lottery players, we invest money to help people across the UK explore, enjoy and protect the heritage they care about – from the archaeology under our feet to the historic parks and buildings we love, from precious memories and collections to rare wildlife. www.hlf.org.uk. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and use #HLFsupported.

Further Information
For further information, images and interviews please contact:
Revd. Brenda Jacobs – Team Rector Hartland Coast Mission Community
Tel: 01237 441271 email: Jacobs200@btinternet.com
or
Adrian Redwood – Volunteer Project Manager
Tel: 07546 846008 email: a.redwood@arconassociates.co.uk

« Back to news page

Find out how to donate and support the St Helen's Centre project »