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Funding boost will help finance Gravesend church facelift

PUBLISHED: 10:23 24 February 2011

Father John Perumbalath

Father John Perumbalath

Archant

Historic churches are to be given a makeover as part of a £2.4million scheme to repair damaged or deteriorating venues.

Under the English Heritage initiative, Church of All Saints in Perry Street, Northfleet and Church of St Mildred, Nurstead, near Meopham, will receive £140,000 and £42,000 respectively.

It represents more than £800,000 earmarked for the county, with Church of St Mary, Sundridge, Sevenoaks, expected to receive £40,000 from the joint initiative with the Heritage Lottery Fund.

One of the main benefactors, Church of All Saints, was constructed in 1869-70 by Gravesend builder Thomas Blake, a distinguished Gothic Revival architect in a distinctive, austere but impressive style.

Reverend Dr John Perumbalath said: “We need £245,000. The £140,000 will go a long way towards this but there is still a lot of work to do.

“The church needs a new lower roof which must have all the tiles removed and replaced. The walls of the exterior also need repointing (replacing the cement between the stones).

“You can see that in places the wall has lost almost all its binding so the re-pointing is very important.”

“Right now we are trying a few other avenues for grants and fundraising.”

“The damage made to the nave has actually not deteriorated in decades and is not where this load of refurbishment will go.

“That is something we are monitoring but it is not urgent. We are delighted to secure this money as it gives the whole project impetus to move forward. We just need to bring it all together.”

It was reported that there was bomb damage in the vicinity during World War II and this may have caused some of the cracks that are visible in the nave.

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