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Colsterworth Church PCC: Newton Project Update – February 2021


It’s a little while since we updated you with regards to the Newton Project, the work to; update, repair and improve the facilities in our church building.

As you know, it was about this time in March 2020 that we heard we had been unsuccessful in our bid to the National Heritage Lottery Fund (NHLF). As you probably remember, we were greatly encouraged by the reception our application had received and the encouragement we were given to make another application, slightly reduced in scope and with a greater emphasis on addressing the current need for repairs.

The last year

As the pandemic grew in scope and impact, like many organisations, NHLF decided to divert its funding towards support for struggling organisations who had already received their funding and we were unable to resubmit our application. At that time there was no indication when that situation might end.

Later in 2020 we learnt that a new programme would be launched in early 2021. In late 2020 it became clear that a new approach might be needed, and we began to look at a phased programme. This in turn led to our submitting an application to the All Churches Trust “ope Beyond”funding stream, aimed at supporting communities recover from Covid-19. Our bid asked for £5k towards costs of £5k to deliver Phase 1 of the reordering, to include; toilets, servery, removal of pews to the rear of the nave and installation of a level floor to this area. Although disappointing, we were awarded £700 towards these costs.


The new NHLF programme has now been launched, and as we feared has a new focus on helping the country achieve economic regeneration. To be successful, a project will need to offer new permanent jobs and support other economic activity, both during any construction phase but also in the longer term. We don’ think, and have been advised, that our project is unlikely to fair well under these new expectations.

Given that we had already considered the possibility of a phased approach we think this is the way forward at least in the interim. It has a number of benefits, including;

 1. It helps us to make progress and maintain some momentum

 2. If successful it maintains the project’ profile within the village

 3. It removes some of the “ew build”costs from our Phase 2 project which helps with any future NHLF bid

 4. It demonstrates that we can both bid successfully for funds and manage a project

 5. It allows us to demonstrate to our community that this work has benefits for all of us, as we make use of the improved space

Following conversations with the diocese we have created a list of possible funders to apply to;

 1. Marshalls – bid submitted seeking £0k

 2. National Lottery Community Fund – bid for £0k about to be submitted

 3. Prince’ Countryside fund – bid for £k submitted

 4. Garfield Weston Foundation – bid for £0k about to be submitted

 5. FCC Community Foundation – bid for £0k to be submitted (permissions need to have been given before submitting application)

 6. Bernard Sunley Foundation – bid for £0k to be submitted (permissions need to have been given before submitting application)

 7. National Churches Trust – bid for £5k to be submitted (NCT expect 50% of funds to have been raised before an application is made)

The reason for targeting more then the total costs is that many applications will not be successful or might not result in all that we ask for. We need to cover these possibilities.


In order to carry out this work we need the permission of the diocese (we might also need Listed Building Consent from SKDC), given in what is known as a Faculty. This is akin to planning permission and allows neighbours and others to comment and object, this is clearly a possibility. In order to minimise the disruption of making 2 faculty applications I am thinking that we should apply for a faculty for all the works we want to do, knowing that it wont all be carried out at once. I have begun a conversation with the diocese over the best way to approach this.

The faculty process involves an advisory group of building, history and archaeology experts called the DAC (Diocesan Advisory Committee) who advise the diocese on agreeing to our faculty application. Some members of the DAC have visited our church to look at and discuss our thoughts and proposals and we know that this will not be a straightforward YES. We know however that Historic England are supportive and the DAC will almost certainly open to a negotiated final position. Again, this is something we will discuss with the diocese to agree the best approach.


I recognise that this is a project of major interest to you, but also to people living in our village and so we plan to ensure that everyone is kept up to date over the coming months, using all the means at our disposal.

Please contact myself or one of the Church Wardens if you have questions on what I have written.

With every blessing

Revd. Neil Griffiths

14th February 2021