Poole, 25 November 2019 - The Bournemouth & Poole Orthodox Christian Foundation, owner of Saint Dunstan's Orthodox Christian Church, has received financial support from the National Lottery Heritage Fund (NLHF) for the first phase of Saint Dunstan's Restoration project. The project aims to restore the Grade II* listed building, which needs substantial repairs.
A restoration grant of some £ 136,000 has been awarded to support the repairs to the roofs in order to make them weathertight. 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.
After the essential repairs to the roof, further repairs will involve 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 furnishings and objects in the Arts & Crafts style designed for the church by William Bainbridge Reynolds, Ernest Gimson 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 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 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."
Registered Charity no. 1140071