Press Release

Trust grant enables historic Dundee church to stay at heart of the community

By July 11th, 2024No Comments

by Andy Drozdziak

A much-loved Dundee Grade A listed Catholic church, affected by damp and rot, is to receive a grant which will provide the church with a lifeline.

St Mary the Immaculate Conception church in Lochee, Dundee, will share in a £473,750 urgent funding pay-out from the National Churches Trust.

The church, located in one of the most deprived areas of Dundee, hosts essential local services, such as its foodbank and shares its facilities with Speech Language Communication Company.

A £30,000 National Churches Trust Grant will help to pay for urgent roof repairs and replace rainwater goods – including gutters and drainpipes – to ensure the church can stay open and thrive. The church will also receive a £10,000 Wolfson Fabric Repair Grant from the Wolfson Foundation, on the recommendation of the National Churches Trust.

Parish priest Fr Jim Walls shared how the grants will ‘breathe life into our restoration programme.’

“We are very grateful to the National Churches Trust and the Wolfson Foundation for their financial support in the restoration of this historic place of worship and community centre. The grant breathes life into our restoration programme and enables us to start essential work on the exterior of this Grade A listed building,” Fr Walls said.

“The people of St Mary The Immaculate Conception and the local community are grateful that this historic building in the heart of Lochee can start to look forward to a bright future.”

The funding will enable urgent and essential repairs to the exterior of the church. This includes roof repairs, replacement of the rainwater goods, masonry, walls, and buttresses.

St Mary the Immaculate Conception is Grade A Listed and commonly described as a ‘Cathedral in miniature’. It is a highly ornamented 13th century church, built in 1866 in a revived Gothic style, by the prominent architect, Joseph Hansom. Fr Walls explained how the grants will support the mission of the church and ‘a renewal of parish life.’

“This future will be based upon its Christian principles of care for the most vulnerable and praise of God,” he said.

“Our intention is to parallel the restoration of the building with a renewal of parish life, and therefore create an environment where hope, faith and goodness flourish.”

Claire Walker, Chief Executive of the National Churches Trust, said: “I’m delighted that the National Churches Trust is able to support St Mary’s church with funding for urgent roof repairs and to tackle the water damage. This will safeguard the unique heritage of this ancient and historic church and keep it open and in use for the benefit of local people.”

Pictures: Fr Jim Walls and the church