Christ Church Highbury: Vicar ‘ecstatic’ at grant to fix crumbling spire
PUBLISHED: 18:18 11 April 2016 | UPDATED: 18:18 11 April 2016
The reverend at Christ Church Highbury is “ecstatic” after the church managed to secure a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund to repair its disintegrating spire.
The church in Highbury Grove – built between 1847 and 1848 – was awarded £206,000 of the £312,000 it needs for urgent repairs, which include new stone and metal supports. The spire had to be cordoned off last year because of the risk to passers-by from falling masonry.
“We were ecstatic when we found out,” Rev Jonathan Brewster told the Gazette. “It was a great surprise as we were up against a lot of other urgent at-risk buildings right across London competing for the same pot of money.”
John Gilbert, chair of the church’s community engagement team, said: “To meet one of the conditions of the HLF funding we are creating an audio-visual project about the Highbury community, past and present, that will be on display inside the church building. We are now looking for volunteers and practical help with the project.”
Visitors will be able to explore information about the heritage of Highbury, including famous residents, historical buildings and streets, leisure and entertainment past and present and the legacy of war. It’s expected to be available by the end of the year on a touchscreen in the church.
Erecting scaffolding around the 33-metre spire has been a month-long job. “We’re told they will probably complete the work in the autumn so we’re hoping to crack open the Champagne around October,” Rev Brewster added.