St Mary’s Priory Church, Chepstow has received initial support from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for repairs to the roof of the nave and provide disabled access to the church. The project aims to help secure the future of the building and make the church more accessible for the community.
A development grant of £13,100 has also been awarded to help St Mary’s Priory Church progress their plans to apply for a full grant at a later date.
St Mary’s, which could be considered the first church encountered when entering Wales, needs to undertake essential conservation works to the roof of the nave and therefore help secure the future of this grade 1 listed building. There is currently no effective disabled access to the Church, and this funding will also help make it accessible to everyone wishing to visit.
St Mary’s Priory Church, Chepstow is built on a Norman foundation, and still boasts many original features, such as the doorway, the base of the original tower, as well as much of the Norman nave. There are many interesting tombs in the church, including the Earl of Worcester and his wife, Elizabeth, who was Lady in Waiting to Anne Boleyn.
The Church is used regularly by local schools, it is a landmark building which sits at the centre of Civic life in Chepstow. It is also a significant Arts venue within the town, and is used by many groups for concerts and events throughout the year. As part of the HLF project, a guide book and interpretation display are also planned to help visitors learn about the interesting stories behind the building.
The Vicar of St Mary’s, Canon Chris Blanchard said: “This award will go a long way towards securing the future of our superb Church. We are delighted to have been granted this Heritage Lottery Funding to take forward our plans to conserve St Mary’s and help make it more accessible for our local community.”
Richard Bellamy, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund Wales, said: “Places of worship are among the UK’s most historic buildings, with fascinating stories behind them. Thanks to National Lottery players, this money will pay for urgent repairs at St Mary’s Priory Church, whilst also helping to tell the stories of this special place to visitors. As a result the building itself will be more used by the whole community, and properly cared for into the future.”