England’s oldest place of worship receives roof repair grant
St Peter’s Chapel on the Essex coast has been awarded a grant of £38,000 for urgent roof repairs. The building, said to be England’s oldest place of worship still in use, is a key part of the county’s history and a landmark on the Dengie Peninsular coast.
The internationally historic building dates back to 654AD and was built by St Cedd on his arrival in England. It is the oldest Romano British building in the world and Grade I listed. The simple building which stands in isolation on the Bradwell coast is a place of pilgrimage for thousands of people each year and in daily use as a place of worship.
The chapel, formally known as the Chapel of St Peter-on-the-Wall, Bradwell-on-Sea, has secured the grant from the Government’s Listed Places of Worship Roof Repair Fund to address urgent roof repairs to ensure it is weathertight, safe and open for use. It is one of 502 grants from a total funding package of £30million that have been announced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer. The fund is administered by the National Heritage Memorial Fund on behalf of the Department for Culture Media and Sport.
Chelmsford Cathedral is responsible for the care of the chapel. The Vice Dean, Ivor Moody, said: “This is fantastic news for a building that’s a jewel, both in terms of its place in history and its part in the formation of the Church of England. There’s a beauty in its isolation on the coast, but the battering of the elements takes its toll! Without these repairs to the roof, the historic masonry could have been lost forever.
“This successful grant application is the result of the commitment of the voluntary committee and I’m delighted that the outcome will go towards ensuring the chapel’s presence for another 1500 years.”