Beautiful Willoughby church steeped in history opens doors for Heritage Open Weekend

Visit St Nicholas Church July 9-10

Thursday, 16th June 2022, 10:05 am

A church in Willoughby that has survived many struggles over the years opens its doors for the Heritage Open Weekend.

St Nicholas Church, which secured a National Lottery Heritage Grant of £248,895, will open its doors on July 9-10.

Churchwarden Karen Nichols said the church has had mixed fortunes over the years.

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St Nicholas Church in Willoughby.

She said: “The community successfully raised funds alongside securing grants to replace the chancel roof in 2017/18. The lead was wearing out, but before repair it was stolen, leaving us more funds to find.

“After that the nave roof inevitably began to fail alongside stonework due to the great age of the church. Lockdown stopped everything just as we were putting another fund raising plan together.”

The National Lottery Heritage Grant will fund roof stonework repairs and heritage activities.

Karen added: “The church has survived many trials over the years and has quite a story to tell.

“It holds many mysteries; one of the key ones being the exact age of parts, in particular the tower after a historian raised interesting theories. We decided to try to unravel this mystery and more.”

More volunteers are needed to help drive the project.

“We are determined St Nicholas will continue to stand the test of time and its rich history and heritage will be preserved,” added Karen.

The Heritage Weekend at the church runs from 11am-4pm each day. Attractions include stalls, old fashioned games, Punch and Judy, rural crafts, straw corner, refreshments and more.

To volunteer or get more information on the open weekend, telephone Karen on 0786 6572209.