At-risk church receives support from the National Lottery Heritage Fund

St Mark’s church in Stoke-on-Trent has received £270,000 in support from The National Lottery Heritage Fund to carry out essential conservation work.

Alongside the physical repairs, a range of community initiatives will be also be developed to explore and record the rich and culturally diverse history of the area.

The project will explore the history of migration into the area, those who came to work in the potteries, pits, and steelworks and also more recent areas.

The project will also work with Sanctus, a drop-in for asylum seekers and refugees, which will be held at the church.

The 188-year-old church will host an engagement program that will include community storytelling, outreach work, and intergenerational activities. The program will also provide volunteering opportunities for local people at work and provide learning experiences for school, college and university students.

The Bishop of Stafford, Geoff Annas said: ‘We are absolutely delighted to have received this support from the National Lottery Heritage Fund.’

‘This is really significant – not just in ensuring St Mark’s survives and thrives but in making sure the heritage of the church and the local area is not lost for good.’

Hanley Team Rector the Revd Phillip Jones, who is overseeing the project added: ‘Our project will ensure that St Mark’s is able to reflect and celebrate the richness and variety of its diverse community.’

‘It will provide training and volunteering opportunities for people who are living in poverty and hardship. We will organise and host exciting, creative activities that bring people together to explore their identity, heritage and culture.

‘They will also be able to share their gifts and talents through volunteering and develop skills and confidence through this. We hope it will provide new and continuing opportunities for the church and for this part of the city.’

In related news, around 1,600 community-led projects in England are celebrating after being awarded more than £58m of National Lottery funding.

Photo Credit – Lichfield Diocese

Pippa Neill


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