St Wilfrid's Church

Grant Funders

When we started planning for annexe construction back in 2015, we never expected that this construction work would happen whilst much of normal life was disrupted by a pandemic. 

St Wilfrid’s Church has been supported by 2 streams of grant funding:

  • Recovery from lockdown and the problems caused by covid
  • Support for construction of the annexe and improved access routes


In March 2020 lockdown closed the doors of the Church – something that had not happened for centuries.  Community activities in our Parish Centre Hall ceased.  Our many volunteers were sheltering.  Income was very significantly reduced and although we rapidly implemented cost cutting actions, a huge deficit opened up.

Our first priority was to try to bring comfort to people.  We used phone calls and email particularly from Church Office, and rapidly learned how to use web technology like zoom and live streaming, using improvised tools such as mobile phones.  Personal contact was restricted to the very limited arrangements we were allowed to make for funerals. 

By August 2020 we had planned how we could safely start opening up the Church and the Parish Centre.  Government grants including the Coronavirus Community Support fund funded by DCMS and administered by the National Lottery Community Fund enabled us to restart some community activities by funding protective equipment and supporting our Church Office Information hub.  Then the 2nd wave struck, so activities halted again.  Christmas 2020 was marked by over a hundred people singing carols in family groups on the cobbles in the open air. 

In January 2021, with help from our MP, Andy Carter MP, we applied for support from the DCMS’s Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage administered by The National Lottery Heritage Fund.  We were delighted to be awarded funding for our church office information hub, undertaking necessary servicing and urgent repair tasks and addressing our critical need for reserves.  A continuation grant in October 2021 helped us undertake further confidence building measures that are encouraging many people to participate in an increasing range of cultural activities.  Our ancient church is now open 7 days a week. 

Building the Annexe

The construction of the beautiful modern annexe to our 900 year old church is now complete and very actively in use.  We were delighted to receive grant funding for the construction from Cheshire Community Foundation, AllChurches Trust, Garfield Weston Foundation, Beatrice Laing Trust, Bernard Sunley Foundation, Dowager Countess Eleanor Peel Trust and Historic Cheshire Churches Preservation Trust. 

It has been very encouraging to see how many people are making use of the improved access routes to the churchyard, our ancient building and Grappenhall Conservation Area. Thank you to everyone who sent in letters of support for these access improvements - Revd Jane received a total of 103 letters within 2 weeks - so there is no doubt that these changes are very much wanted.  Grappenhall and Thelwall Parish Council supported these improvements to access and car parking within the Grappenhall Conservation Area.  Cheshire Community Foundation enabled us to renovate and extend the Courtyard by the annexe entrance to provide a place where people can sit outdoors to enjoy the peace and greenery in the Churchyard.  The Robert Clutterbuck Foundation funded lighting along the pedestrian path linking the Scout Hut and Campsite to Church Lane.  

Local businesses have made very generous contributions, particularly to the annexe construction. 

Thank you all our donors, particularly at this difficult time.

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