A Rochdale church is set to receive a new lease of life after receiving a substantial cash injection from a major national heritage grant.
St John the Baptist Church, in Rochdale, has received a generous £182,442 from Historic England’s Heritage Stimulus Fund: Grants for Programmes of Major Works, which forms part of the government’s Culture Recovery Fund.
The funding comes from a £34m pot to provide financial support for organisations that manage and maintain heritage sites of national importance.
It is hoped the funding will enable organisations to finally take on major repair and conservation projects that may have been put on hold as a result of the pandemic.
For St John the Baptist, this means work can now be undertaken to carry out urgent repairs to the West Transept, including a roof replacement, parapet re-pointing and coping works, internal re-plastering, and decoration.
Built between 1923 and 1925, the church of St John the Baptist is now a Grade II listed building that has become an iconic landmark of the town, thanks to its stunning Byzantine design, impressive domed roof that can be seen for miles around, and its exquisite mosaic work.
These mosaics earned widespread recognition in 2015, when the church’s listed status was elevated to that of Grade II *, due to the quality of the work on the sanctuary. Acclaimed by scholars as being one of, if not the best, example of work by leading mosaic designer Oppenheimer, St John the Baptist is now recognised as a place of international significance.
Now, thanks to this most-welcome cash boost, parishioners at St John the Baptist will be able to preserve its rich architectural heritage for generations to come whilst reaching out to welcome an ever-changing community.