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Broadcaster Huw Edwards delighted at funding for St John's church in Wick


By David G Scott

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A "much-loved" Wick church is to share in a £338,600 funding payout from the National Churches Trust (NCT).

A £10k NCT cornerstone grant will help fund work to St John the Evangelist and keep the church at the heart of the local community.

Broadcaster and journalist Huw Edwards, NCT vice president, said: “I’m delighted that St John the Evangelist, Wick is being helped with a £10,000 National Churches Trust Cornerstone Grant.”

“The grant will facilitate the installation of a much needed accessible toilet.”

Broadcaster and journalist Huw Edwards said he was delighted that St John's church in Wick is being helped with a £10,000 grant.
Broadcaster and journalist Huw Edwards said he was delighted that St John's church in Wick is being helped with a £10,000 grant.

“This will safeguard unique local heritage and help St John the Evangelist continue to support local people as we begin to emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic.”

A total of 52 churches and chapels in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland will benefit from the latest grants from NCT, the charity supporting church buildings of all Christian denominations across the UK. £111,000 of the grants has been provided by the Wolfson Foundation.

This is the second round of grants made by the NCT in 2021, bringing the total support provided to the UK’s churches this year to £944,000. Last year the Trust awarded, or recommended on behalf of other funders, 260 grants amounting to £1.7 million.

Vestry secretary, Jeanette Harper, said: “The congregation was delighted to be awarded £10,000 from the National Churches Trust. The overall cost is estimated to be £88,000 and the award takes us to within the last few thousand pounds of our goal. Having taken five years to get to this point, it will be fantastic to at last be able to start work on a building project that will be a valuable asset to both the church and the wider community."

St John the Evangelist church on Moray Street in Wick.
St John the Evangelist church on Moray Street in Wick.

Designed by architect Alexander Ross, the church was completed in 1870 and included seating for about 110 people, at a cost of £1,245.

Of regional importance, St John’s is a small, plain, gothic church with chancel. The church structure remains unaltered from when first built.

St John’s includes some impressive stained glass windows. The west window depicting the Nativity is by James Ballantine and Sons at dates from 1875. The east window of the same date features the Passion, Crucifixion and Ascension and in the south C Taylor's Light of the World is a frosted engraving by David Gullane. The church also boasts a polygonal timber pulpit with carved motifs.

Lord Horne, right, pictured with King George V during WW1. St John's church has a commemoration tablet to him.
Lord Horne, right, pictured with King George V during WW1. St John's church has a commemoration tablet to him.

There are a number of memorial tablets to members of the congregation, including the Duff Dunbar and Horne families. Henry Sinclair Horne was created Baron Horne of Stirkoke for his services as a General in World War I. He is credited with perfecting the “creeping barrage” to help end the stalemate of trench warfare.

The grant will fund the installation of an accessible toilet in an extension to the south west and improved accessibility to the building. The new facilities will allow the church to welcome more visitors enjoying the North Coast 500 route which passes through the town.


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