Bournemouth - Poole Orthodox Christian Foundation
Poole, 15 November 2016 - It was announced today that the Bournemouth & Poole Orthodox Christian Foundation, owner of Saint Dunstan's Orthodox Christian Church, has received initial support from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for the first phase of Saint Dunstan's Restoration project. The project aims to restore the Grade II* listed building, which is in need of substantial repairs.
Development funding* of £25,000 has been awarded to support the Foundation's plans to apply for a restoration grant of £135,800 at a second phase of the project. The Foundation is currently engaging in a major fundraising drive for the preservation of the building. The project is being guided by the Borough of Poole Conservation Officer of the Planning and Regeneration Service. Historic England agreed to list the church on the Heritage at Risk List it publishes annually to assist the owners of heritage structures in need of major restoration.
The project aims to carry out essential repairs to the roof, windows and walls, while documenting the process for future use by similar organisations struggling with heritage buildings. As well as being the centre of parish life, the church continues to be available for performances by choirs and musicians and guided tours may be arranged for groups from schools and interested organisations.
The church is located on the corner of Bournemouth Road and Saint Osmund's Road in Parkstone. It is an early 20th century basilica in the Arts & Crafts style designed as the last work of the renowned architect E.S. Prior. It contains a number of furnishing and objects in the Arts & Crafts style designed for the church by W. Bainbridge Reynolds, and MacDonald and Eric Gill, as well as 18th century railings donated by St Mary-le-Bow, London.
The project will make it possible for more people to engage with the building, both as a place of worship and as an outstanding architectural and artistic testimony to the Arts & Crafts movement of the early 20th century.
Commenting on the award, Father Chrysostom, the Parish priest, said: "We're delighted that the Heritage Lottery Fund has given us this support. The church attracts a growing number of parishioners, and we hope to get the building fit and ready for the next 100 years."
His Eminence Metropolitan Silouan, the Archbishop of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of the British Isles and Ireland, added: "I am happy that the Heritage Lottery Fund is supporting one of our parishes in the UK, to ensure that the rapidly growing parish can continue to worship in this splendid building."
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