12th Century church to be made fit for the modern world

Date: Tuesday 13th February 2018
With Barton Church in the background are (left to right) Cyril Wilson, treasurer, Bill Pretswell, churchwarden, the Rev. David Wood and Henry Pitt, churchwarden.
With Barton Church in the background are (left to right) Cyril Wilson, treasurer, Bill Pretswell, churchwarden, the Rev. David Wood and Henry Pitt, churchwarden.

WORSHIPPERS at a 12th Century Eden church have expressed their delight at the award of a £23,000 funding boost from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).

The funding will mean that urgent repointing work needed to preserve St. Michael’s Church, Barton, for future generations, along with activities to share its architectural and historical heritage, can now be carried out.

Located between the villages of Tirril and Pooley Bridge, the church is a popular place of worship that has played a part in the lives of thousands of locals over the centuries.

It has seen celebrations of the key moments in the year for the local community as well as births, marriages and deaths of generations of Barton parishioners as well as families from the Penrith area and much further afield.

However, time and weather have taken their toll on the historic building and its last inspection highlighted the need for some major repointing work to the exterior walls and particularly to the tower. It is estimated the project will cost in the region of £40,000.

Last year the parochial church council (PCC) initiated a project to secure the funds to undertake all the repointing work needed. To date, pledges from the local community total more than £15,000, with another £8,000 of funding having been secured from other grants from bodies including Headley, Allchurches and Franklin trusts.

As well as the repointing work, the latest grant will enable the PCC to develop a new leaflet, website and social media presence to help better engage locals and visitors alike with Barton Church.

Churchwarden Henry Pitt said: “We are delighted that the Heritage Lottery Fund has given us such significant support for our project.

“Its grant, together with the wonderful response to our appeal to the local community and the generous grants received from the Headley, Allchurches, Franklin and Alan Evans memorial trusts, will enable us to proceed with the repointing work.

“Furthermore the HLF grant also includes funds for the wider dissemination and promotion of the architectural, historical and religious heritage of St, Michael’s through the professional development of a new website, an illustrated information leaflet and other publicity activities.”

It is hoped that the repointing work will begin later this year once the weather conditions are more favourable.