Myndtown Church prepares to reopen following Heritage Lottery Fund Project

The tiny, 12th Century Myndtown Church, nestled at the foot of the Long Mynd, is preparing a free community party at the end of July, to celebrate its reopening after an extensive programme of conservation and renovation.

The Grade II* listed church was on Historic England’s Buildings at Risk Register and a number of Quinquennial inspections had stated that much urgent work needed doing. However, with only 11 services a year and a small congregation, this work could not be afforded. Therefore, it was resolved to apply to the Heritage Lottery Fund for a grant to enable the work to be undertaken. Myndtown Church bells

Extensive research during the project revealed a roof of national importance and that one of the two small bells dates from 1150, making it one of the oldest (possibly the third oldest) of the 65,000 bells listed in the National Bell Register.

The free reopening party will take place from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm on Sunday 30 July and will include:
• Free entertainment every hour
• Free hog roast with trimmings from 12:00 to 2:00 pm (this must be booked in advance, as numbers are limited: Tel 01588 680100 or E-mail: myndtownchurch@gmail.com to book and advise if vegetarian option required)
• Free ‘Build Your Own Ice-cream Sundae’ table
• Free tea, coffee and soft drinks
• Exhibition of paintings of the church by local artists (will be auctioned)
• ‘Myndtown Renaissance’ ale (from the Six Bells in Bishop’s Castle): £2 per pint
• ‘Ring an Ancient Bell’: £1 a go

In October 2015, the HLF advised the application had been successful and that £223,100 would be awarded towards a total project cost of £282,474, with the balance coming from £10,000 cash contribution to be raised by the church, £5,000 worth of volunteer time and some £45,000 from a special government fund to cover VAT on qualifying items.

The following items were included in the project:
• Replace loose and missing slates to Nave, Chancel and Porch roofs
• Repair Porch roof and structure
• Repair bellcote roof, flashings and weatherboarding
• Repair exposed gable rafters and verges and to north Chancel roof
• Stabilise load bearing roof timbers
• Renew timber trusses as necessary
• Repair abutment between Chancel and Nave roofs
• Repairs to Chancel Arch
• Install rainwater goods and rain water disposal system
• Replace loose blocks at low level, northwest corner and other locations
• Repair external glazing, easing and freeing hopper and decoration of ferramenta bars.
• Repair external rendering and external redecoration
• Realign loose masonry
• Upgrade electrics, lighting and heating
• Install a sink and cupboard unit
• Install brown tourist highway direction signs
• Publish an information booklet and leaflets on walks, cycle and mountainbike rides, and horseriding trails beginning and ending at the church and produce interpretation and display boards
• Carry out a range of visitor promotion and engagement activities