AN EVESHAM church in “urgent” need has been handed a £211,800 grant for “major repairs” through a fund designed to soften the impact of coronavirus.

St Lawrence’s Church, off Vine Street, Evesham, is one of 18 churches to get a chunk of cash via the Churches Conservation Trust (CCT).

The CCT, a national charity protecting historic churches at risk, has been awarded the money as part of the government’s £1.57billion Culture Recovery Fund which was launched in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Following a condition survey in 2017 and a major fall of stone in 2018, inspection of the church determined that repairs to tower and spire stonework were needed, particularly due to its proximity to pedestrianised areas.

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said: “As a nation it is essential that we preserve our heritage and celebrate and learn from our past.

“This massive support package will protect our shared heritage for future generations, save jobs and help us prepare for a cultural bounce back post Covid.”

CCT chief executive Peter Aiers said: “We are extremely grateful to Historic England and the Government for this funding, which will allow us to undertake repairs and conservation at 18 of our most in-need historic churches.

“The Churches Conservation Trust, like many charities, has suffered financially because of the coronavirus pandemic and we face a significant fundraising gap due to having had to close churches.

“This award will help us to continue saving these beautiful historic buildings, to keep them open for the public as well as supporting vital craft skills in the heritage sector.”

Duncan Wilson, Historic England’s chief executive, said: “It is heartening to see grants, both large and small, from the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund helping heritage sites and organisations across the country which have been hit hard by the effects of Covid-19.

“These grants range from giving skilled craft workers the chance to keep their trades alive to helping heritage organisations pay the bills, and to kick-starting repair works at our best-loved historic sites.

“The funding is an essential lifeline for our heritage and the people who work tirelessly to conserve it for us all, so that we can hand it on to future generations.”