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Last Updated: Thursday, 14 July, 2005, 11:12 GMT 12:12 UK
Historic church's future secured
An historic church has been saved from demolition with the announcement of a 513,500 grant.

The money from the Heritage Lottery Fund is awarded to the Society of Saint Pius X towards the renovation of St Cuthbert's Church, Bensham, Gateshead.

The Grade II listed building has not been used for 16 years and is on the local Buildings at Risk register.

The funding will ensure it can be used as a church and community facility and should secure its future.

Stained glass

Heritage Lottery Fund North East committee chairman Richard Bailey said: "It is wonderful news that St Cuthbert's has been saved from demolition by this grant.

"Churches and places of worship are often the most popular symbols of a community's heritage and have huge architectural and historical value."

The church was designed by Newcastle architect John Dobson and built between 1845-8 in a Romanesque or Neo-Norman style.

It also had stained glass windows designed by William Wailes, another famous Newcastle-born craftsman.

The windows have been removed and are currently in storage but will be returned and replaced using funds from the grant.

An exhibition space and community facilities will also be created.




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