A VILLAGE church which has a congregation of just 10 has been shortlisted for a prestigious English Heritage award backed by Andrew Lloyd Webber.
Up until two years ago St Andrew’s Church in Ulrome was not used at all and had fallen into disrepair with the structure of the building under serious threat from poor drainage, damaged guttering and deteriorating pointing.
But after being taken over by Bridlington’s Christ Church a small but loyal congregation was established and their fund-raising efforts meant that by May of this year the church was formally re-opened.
Now the church has landed a place among 16 heritage rescues from across the country chosen to go forward to the finals of the English Heritage Angel Awards in London later this year.
Backed by Andrew Lloyd Webber, the Angels celebrate the efforts made by individuals, groups and organisations all over the country in saving derelict and severely damaged historic landmarks.
Andrew Jefferson, member of the St Andrew’s Church committee, said the news came as a bit of a surprise.
“We were surprised because it’s a small church in a small village and I suppose we were surprised because we must have been up against quite a number of churches in the country,” he said.
“Every member of the congregation contributed to the process of restoring the Church, whether it was fund-raising, trimming trees, repairing gates, or creating our new parking space.”
Heritage experts sifted through more than 200 applications from across the country, looking for passion, perseverance and imagination as well as the scale of the challenge and how well it has been tackled, before narrowing it down to the finalists.
Representatives of St Andrew’s Church will now attend an awards ceremony at the Palace Theatre, in London’s West End, which will be hosted by television presenter Clare Balding on October 22.