Churches still in need of urgent repairs

St Cuthbert's Church Lytham
St Cuthbert's Church Lytham
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Two local churches have been added to English Heritage’s At Risk Register which identifies sites in need of urgent conservation.

The grade II*-listed St Cuthbert’s Church in Lytham is deemed to be in ‘very bad’ condition after a criminal attack to the roof triggered an outbreak of dry rot.

The organisation has a legal responsibility to monitor historically important buildings including Grade II and Grade II* churches.

English Heritage At Risk architect Peter Barlow said: “St Cuthbert’s Church had sustained a criminal attack to its roof which had caused dry rot.

“This puts it on the at risk register as far as we are concerned.

“We visited the church and noted that a repair scheme is in progress.”

English Heritage describes St Cuthbert’s as a “church in a perpendicular style, with Flemish bonded red brick, sandstone dressings and slate roof”.

The church was built in 1834 and boasts a fine collection of stained glass enhancing a finely executed piece of church architecture”.

In Wyre, the Church of St Luke in Winmarleigh is described as being in a ‘poor state’ after a leaking gutter threatened precious artworks.

The “fine rural church by Paley and Austin dated 1876 has fine extensive stencil decoration to the interior”.

Mr Barlow added: “What’s happened there is there have been a couple of different problems with the church.

“St Luke’s has a complicated tower across the centre of the roof which has problems with a leaking gutter.

“The building is listed because it has a very finely painted interior which is at risk.

“The vestry was also built at a later date to the rest of the church and subsidence has caused the chancel wall to be pulled at some time.

“Fortunately the church will be eligible for a Heritage Lottery Fund Grant for places of worship.”

Mr Barlow explained that churches were inspected every five years by architects and their reports are passed on to the Diocese.

English Heritage is then given a list of the sites most in need of help.

Other sites on the ‘At Risk’ register include Lytham Hall, Marsh Mill in Thornton and the Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Heys Street, Thornton.