Didsbury church handed more than £200,000 for vital repairs

Emmanuel Church was built in the Victorian era

Emmanuel Church in Didsbury has received a National Lottery grant of £211,400 for its Raising the Roof campaign.

The money will go towards repairing the roof and external walls, improving the front access and deliver a range of activities and resources to bring the building’s heritage alive to the wider community.

Emmanuel Church is host to dozens of community groups as well as Coffee Concerts on Saturday mornings.

The Victorian building also holds the Home Community Café every weekday, a charity run by volunteers and a popular meeting place for families and friends.

Revd Nick Bundock said “We are overwhelmed by the generosity of the HLF, it is going to transform what we are able to do in future years.

“Emmanuel Church sits at the very heart of our community but the leaking roof is threatening not just the heritage of this grade II building but also future plans to open it up to new users. Thank you to the HLF for helping us preserve and develop this important heritage asset.”

Work will soon start on fixing the leaking roof and restoring crumbling stonework, and the access ramp at the front of the church will be remodelled for safety and ease and the area carefully redesigned.

A range of activities are now possible to make the most of the heritage of this church at the heart of Didsbury village.

Volunteers will be trained in collecting the oral histories from our older members of the community, recording memories and stories that would otherwise be lost forever.

Local history volunteers will be working to provide guides to the finest windows, including the human history behind them, and the church will now be open with exhibitions on Heritage Open Days alongside the sister church of St James’.

Nathan Lee, Head of HLF North West said: “North West England has such a diverse range of churches, each one reflecting the social history of its community as well as the influences upon the architecture.

“Emmanuel Church stamps a sense of identity on Didsbury, while providing a venue for worship and many other community activities, so HLF is delighted to give it support.”

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