Go back to normal view
Great Malvern Priory has received the offer of a grant of £83,400 from the National Lottery Heritage Fund to help towards urgent stonework repairs needed to preserve parts of the building. Thanks to money raised by National Lottery players work can shortly begin on restoring and cleaning the North Porch and other crucial repairs.
In addition to the National Lottery Heritage Fund a further £55,000 is in the pipeline from four other charitable trusts. The Garfield Weston Foundation has donated £25,000 and the Wolfson Foundation in association with Church Care, the Friends of Malvern Priory and the Droitwich Preservation Trust have each offered a further £10,000. With a further contribution of £27,000 from the Priory, work can begin.
‘This is fantastic news for us,’ said Revd Rod Corke, Vicar of The Priory. ‘I am thrilled with the generosity of the Heritage Lottery Fund. The work we need to do is vital and represents the crucial first stage of a wider restoration and development plan. Without help from money raised by the National Lottery players and from the charitable trusts like this we would be struggling to keep this lovely building safe and welcoming.’
The work will stabilise the cracked pinnacles of the North Porch, restore and bring back to life the carved detail above the entrance and clean the blackened stonework. This will lift the tone of the entrance and make building more inviting. The work will also rebuild a section of the west wall behind the North Aisle which is bowing and make repairs to the wall behind the South Aisle. Significant cracks in the clerestory walls at the West End and in St Anne’s Chapel will be pointed with a flexible mortar which will help to prevent them getting larger. Work should start in July after we have selected a contractor through competitive tender.
Crumbling carved detail and blackened stone above the entrance to be cleaned and restored.
Several activities, sponsored by Heritage Fund, will be held during the year in order to encourage visitors to come and enjoy the building and learn about its heritage and the repair programme.
Among these will be a Mystery Play directed by Rob Swinton. There will be a cast of 46 local people and two professional actors and it will take place in a dramatically transformed Priory. The play will be staged between 24th April and 8th May.
In the summer, the Priory will hold an Open Day during which stonemasons will demonstrate stone carving and mortar repair techniques. Inside the building there will be guided tours, displays and musical recitals. In June the ‘Lifepath’ event will be open to hundreds of pupils from local primary schools. They will explore the life of the Benedictine monks who founded the Priory and spend a day taking part in activities involving trying their hands at building arches, brass rubbing, hand bell ringing and learning about medieval diets and medicines.
‘It is important for us to open our doors to visitors so that they can see the beauty of the building we so enjoy,’ said Rod Corke. ‘We want as many people as possible to come and join us for musical events, lunchtime talks, entertainments and social activities in the church itself.’
Vanessa Harbar, Head of HLF West Midlands, said “We have been delighted to support Great Malvern Priory to carry out urgent repairs and engage new audiences with this much-loved local landmark. Thank you to the National Lottery players who have made it possible.”
Charity Registration No. 1128064