Canny good start to window campaign
A £50,000 campaign to save a stained glass window in one of Wearside’s architectural treasures has been kicked off with its first donation.
The project to restore the display inside the Grade I listed Holy Trinity Church, in Sunderland’s East End, is set to officially launch next week, with a deadline of Christmas.
Durham Benevolence Limited, the charitable arm of the Province of Durham Freemasons, has become its first backer with a £1,000 donation.
The group, whose Queen Street Temple is a short distance away, discovered the window is dedicated to John Ritson, a member of its St John’s Lodge, in Burdon Road. Mr Ritson was a chemist and died in February 1857 aged 63.
The Freemasons say they are keen to back the restoration of the church, built in 1719, as a neighbour and passionate supporters of the area’s heritage.
A £3million bid is due to be submitted to the Heritage Lottery Fund in December in support of the redevelopment to turn the building, in Church Street East, into a place the community can use again, with a focus on setting up a hub for musicians and artists.
The Churches Conservation Trust, which takes care of churches no longer used for worship, hopes the Canny Space project will be completed by 2021 to compliment the City of Culture award, should Wearside be a winner.
It has invited musician Dave Stewart to join as a creative director of the venue, currently deemed as one of the seven most valuable endangered sites in Europe by the trust.
Robin Middleton, who represents the Durham Benevolence Limited and is a member of the Queen Street Temple, said the Freemasons hope both will benefit from the Sunderland Heritage Action Zone.
He said: “We’re delighted to be giving a grant of £1,000 to help fund the restoration of the historic piece of stained glass, especially as the windows are dedicated to Brother John Ritson.
“We’re all proud of Sunderland’s history and we hope many more people will get involved to help raise the £50,000.”
Anthony Bennett, development director for the trust, said: “The Heritage Lottery Fund has asked for a show that the people of Sunderland will use this place and so every Mackem penny that goes into this is a donation and will make a difference.”
More details can be found via http://thecannyspace.co.uk.
“We’re all proud of Sunderland’s history” ROBIN MIDDLETON
Durham Benevolence Ltd’s Robin Middleton donates funds to Holy Trinity Church restoration project co-ordinator Amanda Gerry.
Holy Trinity Church, in Church Street East, is in need of repair.