St Mary Magdalene’s restoration project awarded Heritage Lottery Fund grant

The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has approved a first-round funding application for the restoration of St Mary Magdalene’s Church. The bid was submitted by a partnership between Paddington Development Trust and the Church, with support from Westminster City Council.

The church sits beside the canal on the Warwick estate. Built in the mid-19th century by G.E. Street, one of the most important of Victorian architects; St Mary Magdalene’s is a Grade 1 Listed building on the English Heritage ‘at risk’ register. It is recognized as an outstanding example of neo-Gothic architecture and decoration. The project will equip the church to connect local people and visitors with Paddington’s rich and complex past.

The HLF has committed £263,000 to project development work, and earmarked £3m for the project pending a round 2 submission, expected in early 2015. Additional fundraising will be needed to cover the £5m total.

Funding will pay for:

  1. Restoration of the historic fabric of the church building.
  2. A new Heritage Wing providing access and visitor facilities, learning workshop, and canalside café.
  3. A major learning, training, and activity programme for residents and visitors.

Father Henry Everett, the Vicar of St Mary Magdalene’s, commented:

“This project is about honouring the intention of the original founders of St Mary Magdalene’s to bring joy, light, colour and a sense of pride to this deprived area of Westminster.”

Neil Johnston, Chief Executive of Paddington Development Trust, added:

“This HLF grant now means we have a serious chance to turn our ideas for this beautiful historic building into reality; connecting people with Paddington’s dynamic physical and cultural heritage, but also with new experiences and possibilities in their own lives.”

Please do get in touch if you would like to hear more about the plans for St Mary Magdalene’s.