Earlier this month, St Peter’s, Linlithgow learnt they have won a £20,000 Community Grant from the National Churches Trust to help build an extension that will enable them to become a community hub.

St Peter’s wants to make its building more available to the community as a base for Christian worship and outreach work, a venue for community activities and part of Linlithgow’s historic heritage.

While the main worship area is admirably suited to the needs of the congregation and serves well as a small arts and music venue the ancillary facilities are inaccessible, with very limited capacity. The kitchen is woefully inadequate and does not meet current food hygiene regulations. Users with disabilities cannot access the only toilet without significant physical effort. These constraints significantly restrict St Peter’s potential as a community resource in the town centre where there is a dearth of small, affordable venues.

The project will add new facilities behind the existing building: accessible entry points and a toilet at church level; a fully-equipped kitchen; a hall suitable for various community uses; a second accessible WC; and a small room suitable for one-to-one meetings.

Revd Christine Barclay said:

“We at St Peter’s are delighted with the support we have received in raising the funds to enable us to realise our vision. We are so very grateful to the National Churches Trust for recognising the value of our project and awarding us such a generous grant”.

St Peter’s is one of 70 churches and chapels in England, Wales and Scotland that are set to benefit from rescue funding of £522,241 from the National Churches Trust, the UK’s church support charity.

Huw Edwards, Vice-President of the National Churches TrustHuw Edwards, Broadcaster and Journalist and Vice-President of the National Churches Trust said:

“I’m delighted that St Peter’s church in Linlithgow is to benefit from a £20,000 National Churches Trust Community Grant. This will ensure that this historic church can be used for a wide range of community activities and be at the service of local people.”

National Churches Trust Grants

The National Churches Trust continues the work of the Historic Churches Preservation Trust, founded in 1953. Together, they have allocated over 12,000 grants and loans in excess of £40 million to help the UK’s church buildings, which in current prices equates to over £90 million.

The National Churches Trust accepts grant applications from listed and unlisted churches, chapels and meeting houses of any age of any Christian denomination, to fund urgent structural repair works, and the introduction of new facilities that enable the building to be more widely used by the community, such as kitchens and toilets. They also offer a maintenance grant programme and project development grants.

Church buildings must be open for regular public worship (i.e. more than six services a year) and be located within England, Wales, Northern Ireland, Scotland, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands. For more details about the grants, and to find out if your church could apply for one, visit www.nationalchurchestrust.org/grants.