The Parochial Church Council responsible for the United Benefice of Ockley, Okewood and Forest Green is delighted to announce that it has been successful in its application to English Heritage (EH) for lottery funding for essential works at the 13th century church of St John the Baptist, Okewood.
Acts of worship have been present on the site of this delightful building – originally a chapel of ease for those travelling the highways and byways to
Wotton Church – for almost 800 years.
The grant will be available in two stages – the first (for £21,000) covers necessary development research for repairs necessary to the church roof and spire as well as specialist investigation of timbers; bat surveillance; conservation of historic stained glass; preservation of medieval wall paintings;
and sampling of render, stone and plaster.
The second stage – for which an in principle grant offer of £63,000 has been made, will enable the works identified in stage one to be carried out – using appropriate conservation-accredited experts and contractors.
We are so pleased that English Heritage has agreed to make public lottery funds available to help us maintain this historically significant building.
Often described as a hidden gem in the woods of Okewood, St John’s is at the very heart of worship in the parish, with services every Sunday and effective children’s Christian teaching on the same site.
Though the grants from EH will inevitably commit us to significant fundraising to cover the whole cost of necessary works – it goes a long way towards helping us to meet our stewardship obligations in preserving this ancient building for future generations of worshippers.
Churchwarden, St John the Baptist, Okewood