Buttress has been appointed by St. Mark's Church, Shelton, to progress a development stage application to National Lottery Heritage Fund.
The Grade II listed church is the largest church in the Diocese of Lichfield. Known locally as 'the Cathedral of the Potteries', it is an important landmark on the edge of Stoke-on-Trent city centre.
In 2017, the church was placed on the Heritage at Risk Register by Historic England after it had fallen into a state of disrepair. Substantial water ingress to the aisle roofs has caused significant damage, and the partial collapse, of the plaster ceilings below. Water penetration has also led to falling masonry from the church’s 120 foot stone tower.
The largest Heritage Fund project in the Diocese, the work will involve essential internal and external repair and conservation work to correct these issues and safeguard the church.
Alongside the repairs, the practice will support a series of community events and initiatives to engage members of the congregation and the wider community with the plans. The diverse local community will also be involved in the future development and sustainability of the heritage through training, oral histories and creative activity, while volunteering opportunities will provide experience for local people as well as learning outcomes for school, college, and university students.
Commenting on the appointment, Associate Edward Kepczyk, said, “This is an exciting opportunity to work collaboratively with the Hanley Team Ministry, Parochial Church Council, congregation and local community to bring forward proposals that will sensitively and sustainably transform, conserve, and enhance St. Mark’s Church.”
Team Rector, Rev Phillip Jones, added: "We are delighted to be working with Buttress toward securing the future of this significant building in the City. We were particularly impressed with the resources they could offer to help support the important community heritage component of this project."