Philanthropist pledges £50,000 to help save St Mary’s Church, Shrewsbury
The Campaign to Save St Mary’s Church, Shrewsbury has received a further boost this week with the news that John Osborn CBE, a Herefordshire based former businessman and philanthropist, has offered to match new donations pound for pound up to a value of £50,000.
When he was a child, John was dispatched every holiday on the Midland Red bus from his home in Birmingham to stay with his aunt and uncle in Shrewsbury. This has left him with a great fondness for the town and for St Mary’s in particular where his uncle, George Tiller, was churchwarden for many years.
Commenting on the appeal, John said “Quite apart from its personal resonance, St Mary’s is in my view the most important church to survive in Shrewsbury. The nave, with its spacious aisles and beautiful roof, coupled with its exceptional collection of late medieval European glass makes it a church of national importance, badly in need of some TLC. I am delighted to be involved.”
Judith Patrick, Head of North Region, CCT says “In the past few months residents of Shrewsbury will have seen works underway at St. Mary’s to address the most urgent repair needs, however, there is further repair and conservation work needed to the ancient stained glass. We are so grateful to John for his generous donation offer, which will allow us to continue our work so that the church can remain open for people to enjoy.”
This could not have come at a better time as a financial boost for works at the church. Last October, St Mary’s received a grant from the Heritage Stimulus Fund for repairs to the roof and lead replacement. However, this funding only covers part of the work needed. A significant project remains to fully address the conservation of this world-renowned collection of medieval and renaissance stained glass and the donation by Mr Osborn will go towards funding this work. A recent inspection of the glass indicates that the full works could be in the region of £200 - £250K.
To take advantage of John Osborn’s generous match funding offer, we are appealing for donations, large or small which can be made via www.visitchurches.org.uk/shrewsbury