Church given £1m to target deprived areas

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st winfrid's totton
St Winfrid’s in Totton is undergoing a major refurbishment

A TOTTON church is one of three set to share a £3m grant to help spread the Christian message in urban and deprived areas.

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Winchester Diocese has been awarded the money by the Church of England as part of a national £24m package – and St Winfrid’s in Salisbury Road is among those chosen to benefit.

The Grade 2 listed church, which is around 80 years old and known as St Wins, has been closed since November 2018 while it undergoes major repairs and a total refurbishment.

The Rev. Chris Steed told the A&T the funding was “good news” for the church and added: “The £1m will be spent on developing a new church centre to serve the area.

“£400,000 was spent on stage 1 of the project to restore the roof and windows and thus make the structure secure for the future.

The Rev Chris Steed

“The new money will take this further and undertake rewiring, new heating and substantial remodelling to make St Wins a significant site of ministry in the community.”

The work is expected to be completed next year. Before the pandemic, services were held at nearby AFC Totton. They are now streamed online for parishioners.

As well as services, St Winfrid’s was also a hub for the community, with messy play groups for toddlers, a church café and regular fundraisers such as concerts.

The Bishop of Winchester, the Rt Rev Tim Dakin, said of the funding: “The whole country has been severely affected by the pandemic, and we have all had to make difficult adjustments – but there is no doubt that it is our most deprived areas that have been hit the hardest.

“These projects across Hampshire and Dorset will give us the opportunity to deliver our mission to those most in need as our communities begin to heal and rebuild.”

Debbie Clinton, director of renewal and reform for the Church of England, added: “The range of work outlined in these projects is a measure of the Church of England’s commitment to all areas of the country – including some of the most deprived urban communities.”

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