Government funding for repairs to historic windows at St John’s church in Lancaster

St John the Evangelist Church, Lancaster has received £51,875 of vital repairs to windows and doors thanks to grant funding from the government’s £1.57 billion Cultural Recovery Fund.

St John’s is an impressive Georgian church in the heart of historic Lancaster, with a distinctive clock tower visible within the city skyline.  The church was built nearly 300 years ago against a background of growing prosperity and boasts beautiful galleries and gleaming polished woodwork internally.  St John’s has been closed and vacant since 2015 and despite urgent investment such as the recent Stop the Rot campaign, the building is in need of repair work.

Over the past few months specialist conservation contractors have been hard at work carrying out repairs to the windows and doors of the church which had become damaged and decayed over time, including specialist repair work to the beautiful stained glass.  Using traditional skills and materials, window frames have been repaired and repainted and the coloured glass has been carefully restored.  Some of this work was carried out on site whilst other aspects required windows to be removed to allow for workshop attention before reinstatement.  Carrying out this work not only conserves the historic fabric of one of Lancaster’s historic places of worship but also sustains traditional craft skills and supports local businesses.

Image of mostly clear, partially stained glass window by a staircase at St John's
© Buttress Architects

The work at St John’s is part of a wider programme of repair and conservation work at 26 churches across CCT’s estate of 356 historic places of worship.  CCT is one of 445 heritage organisations across the country to receive this lifesaving financial boost from the Government via the Cultural Recovery Fund.

Judith Patrick, Head of the North Region said: We are delighted that this grant has enabled the restoration of three of the beautiful stained glass windows at St John’s along with repairs to windows on the south side of the church.  Storm damage had meant we’d needed to remove windows and board them up to avoid further damage, so it’s wonderful to see them returned.  The grant had a very tight deadline so we carried out as much work as possible in the time allowed, thanks to the combined efforts of our contractors and architects”.

Close up of stained glass window at St John's
© Buttress Architects


The work at St John’s was carried out by Rosslee Construction Ltd with Design Lights Stained Glass Ltd undertaking specialist stained glass repairs and Buttress Architects Ltd providing professional support. 80% of the cost of the work was covered by the Cultural Recovery Fund grant, with CCT continuing to fundraise to support this work as part of our ongoing repair and maintenance programme.

About the Cultural Recovery Fund

This vital work at St John’s was funded by the Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage and the Heritage Stimulus Fund - funded by Government and administered at arm’s length by Historic England and the National Lottery Heritage Fund. Both funds are part of the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund which is designed to secure the future of Britain’s museums, galleries, theatres, independent cinemas, heritage sites and music venues with emergency grants and loans. The grant requires 20% match funding and the CCT will continue to raise funds to care for the over 350 churches in their collection.

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 bounceback post covid.”