All Saints Snodland wins National Lottery support

It was announced today that All Saints Church in Snodland has received a confirmed grant of £222,600 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF). Made possible by money raised by National Lottery players, the grant will enable the All Saints Urgent Repair Project to carry out repairs to the stonework of the tower and chancel arch and to the floor of the ringing chamber. The church was closed to members of the public late last year.

As previously reported the church is an important historical building and a 'local treasure'. It is strategically located at the point at which the Pilgrims Way crosses the River Medway. A church has stood on the site for over a thousand years and is mentioned in the Domesday Book (1066). It was placed on the English Heritage 'at risk' register in 2014.

The Rector of Snodland, the Rev Hugh Broadbent, said: "We are delighted that the Heritage Lottery Fund has given us this grant. We very much look forward to seeing the repairs completed and the church open once more. People have really missed using it."

When it is re-opened All Saints will be made much more available to the wider community and the building will be better utilised as a venue for talks, concerts and small exhibitions. There will be 'hard hat' tours while work is being carried out guide books will be printed.

A team of guides and welcomers will be recruited and trained for when the church is open in the summer and a 'Journey of Life' educational programme for schools will be developed, making use of the recently installed Snodland Stones prayer walk and the church's key position on the Pilgrims Way.

With the support of the Kent Wildlife Trust (KWT) measures will also be taken to promote wildlife in the churchyard and people's appreciation of it. In conjunction with this the KWT is assisting with the production of circular walk leaflets in the vicinity of All Saints.

The Rector was very grateful for the generous support of Snodland residents and well-wishers, as well as several grant-making bodies which has enabled the necessary match funding of over £35,000 to be raised.

Tracey Crouch, who is the Sport, Tourism and Heritage Minister, and who is standing for re-election as MP in Aylesford and Chatham, commented: "I am absolutely delighted that All Saints has been awarded National Lottery funding to help with urgent repairs. It is such a historic landmark in Snodland and this funding will help secure its long term future for generations to come."

The head teacher of Snodland Church of England Primary School, Holley Hunt, said: "We are greatly looking forward to the re-opening of All Saints Church. This church is very special to us; we hold all of our key services here and the children enjoy visiting the church as part of their RE learning.

"Although we have made every effort to ensure our services for Christmas and Easter have remained special for the children in school, it just isn't quite the same as when we attend All Saints."

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