Canny good start to win­dow cam­paign

Sunderland Echo - - News - By Fiona Thomp­son fiona.thomp­son@jpress.co.uk Twit­ter: @fionath­omp­sonjp

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.

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