Post-lockdown boost for St Sampson, Cricklade


First published 22nd April 2021

St Sampson Church, Cricklade, is to share in a funding payout from the National Churches Trust to fund repairs.

A £10,000 National Churches Trust Cornerstone Grant will help fund urgent repairs and keep the church at the heart of the local community. St Sampson is on the Historic England ‘At Risk’ Register.

The church also receives a £5,000 Wolfson Fabric Repair Grant from the Wolfson Foundation on the recommendation of the National Churches Trust.

Broadcaster and journalist Huw Edwards, Vice President of The National Churches Trust, said:

“I’m delighted that St Sampson’s, Cricklade is being helped with a £10,000 National Churches Trust Cornerstone Grant. The grant will facilitate repairs to the nave roof.

“The grant will safeguard unique local heritage and help St Sampson’s continue to support local people as we begin to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic.”

A total of 67 churches and chapels in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland will benefit from the latest grants from the National Churches Trust, the charity supporting church buildings of all Christian denominations across the UK.

The church

A substantial Saxon minster dating from the late 9th century stood on the site which is now occupied by the church. This pre-Conquest cruciform building had broadly similar dimensions to its successor. The present church is built of limestone rubble with roofs of stone slates and lead. The north porch was probably added in the late 12th century. There had been some internal reordering before the major restoration in 1863-4 which included new roofs, a rebuild of the south aisle, the removal of galleries, a new stone pulpit and the replacement of a disorderly collection of seating with pews.

St Sampson’s most distinctive feature is its square tower built between 1500 and 1550. With octagonal buttresses at each corner, it is a real landmark of the Upper Thames Valley. St Sampson’s features in Simon Jenkins’ England’s Thousand Best Churches (2013) and is applauded by Betjeman and Pevsner.

The project

The grant will support a second phase of repairs to the nave roof. The roof dates to the 18th century and is subject to thermal movement and slippage, which has resulted in water ingress to all areas. The project will repair the roof and prevent further damage.

Adina Grace and Rob Crow, churchwardens at St Sampson’s said:

“The awarding of grants from the National Churches Trust and Wolfson Foundation mean we are able to repair the nave roof in spring 2021. We are so encouraged and grateful for their support. The church appeal is an on-going project which will result in water-tight lead roofs, repaired stone roofs and a much improved interior space, which can be used by the whole community of Cricklade.