Church’s prayers answered

Aswarby Church, as it used to look without the scaffold. EMN-160419-170119001
Aswarby Church, as it used to look without the scaffold. EMN-160419-170119001

A parish church has won a Heritage Lottery grant towards urgent repairs.

St Denys’ Church in Aswarby has been offered up to £237,400 which includes a development grant of up to £22,900, from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to develop a project for vital repair work. The total cost is expected to be £320,000.

The Grade 1 listed building has huge historical significance. George Bass, after whom the Bass Strait between Tasmania and Australian is named, was born in Aswarby and christened in the church. His father was church warden.

The building was forced to close in 2015 and although now open again a recent survey revealed a number of major problems with the spire and roof needing urgent repair.

Aswarby District Church Council plans to explore the heritage of George Bass and his links with the Aswarby estate and church as well as the wider community through his association with Mathew Flinders. There are plans for a new local guide, education boards and a book. More fund-raising possibilities will be looked into before applying for the full grant later.

Sonia Playne from the church council said they were thrilled: “There is a lot of work to do if we are to raise the full amount of funding we need.”