Iconic Preston building needs £3.5million for restoration

St Walburge’s Church has the tallest spire of any parish church in Britain and is grade-I listed.

It's one of the most important Catholic churches in the country and is famous for having the tallest spire of any parish church in Britain, but St. Walburge's in Preston needs a £3.5 million restoration.

The grade I listed church in 2008 was given just a year to continue due to funding issues and was facing decommissioning.

St Walburge’s Church has the tallest spire of any parish church in Britain and is grade-I listed.

St. Walburge's, a Grade One Listed Church, which holds important cultural and architectural significance in the country is in need of major and urgent restoration so that it can preserve the past for the current and future generations.

A restoration project is urgently needed to tackle the inevitable decay of the fabric of the church and its subsidiary buildings as a result of a long period of neglect, added to by the exceptional severe weather fronts which have been experienced in recent years.

St. Walburge's have produced a programme of works where they have subdivided their overall project in four phases over approximately 5 years

  • Phase 1: Roof repair (complete re-roofing of the whole church where a temporary roof will be created for St. Walburge's). Stained glass and stained glass protectors repair, · Heating system renewal (the current system that is removed, was one of the causes of condensation and roofing problems). · West-End re-ordering (The only very inaccessible toilet in the church that often requires repair, is not appropriate for the number of congregation and visitors. The plans are to build a new extension to provide suitable toilets for men, women, and the disabled people). Disabled access improvement (critical issue that affects parishioners' participation and visitors).

  • Phase 2: Repair to The Parish Hall · Repair to the Talbot Library

  • Phase 3: East- End re-ordering, · New lighting system · A/V system installation;

  • Phase 4: Conversion of the Convent Building.

To help reach the £3.5m target and generate further funding for the restoration project, St. Walburge's church is set to apply to grant organisations such as: Heritage Lottery Fund, Albert Gubay Foundation, All Churches Trust and Garfield Weston Foundation. Every £1 raised will be match funding by the HLF.

In addition, to the above, St. Walburge's active parishioners are willing to assist the urgent restoration project by launching their own fundraising ideas. St. Walburge's is also fortunate in having professional event organisers amongst its congregation who are set to organise a variety of events such as The Spire Beer fest, the Spire at Night and Award Galas which will result in generating extra revenue. Additionally, St. Walburge's is set to activate its own online fundraising campaign, urging Anyone who is interested in the spiritual life, history, ecclesial art, architecture or music of churches to join the 'Friend's' group as well as launching local appeals and seeking any available local funding.

St. Walburge's restoration can be supported here.