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£100,000 boost for Murston HeArt

Written by on 15 October 2019

Swale council has awarded £100,00 to Murston All Saints Trust (MAST) for the restoration and development of Murston Old Church.

The money will go towards the trust’s impressive plans for a creative community hub in the Murston Old Church and surrounding churchyard.

Built in the 14th century, the church was mostly destroyed in the years that followed leaving only the central chancel standing. The medieval remains were placed on the Historic England’s Heritage At Risk Register after suffering ongoing vandalism and anti-social behaviour in the past.

The trust’s plans for Murston Old Church include restoration of the remaining chancel as an art gallery and meeting space, building eight studio units for visual arts and crafts, plus a community and education space and café.

A pocket park will be created in the surrounding churchyard including new seating, pathways and parking facilities. 

John Nightingale, Chair of Murston All Saints Trust, said:

“Swale Borough Council’s grant is a huge boost, showing confidence and commitment to the project, and is encouraging others to support us. We’re all very excited about bringing this project to fruition, believing it will put the Old Church at the heart of the community. Our aim is for it to bring together all the different parts of Murston – the older community, the large business community on the Eurolink and the community that is part of the new housing at Great Easthall.”

In recent years the church has been home to art exhibitions, children’s festivals and community activities. Cllr Roger Truelove, leader of the council and project sponsor, said:

“We are delighted to support the trust’s vision of a sustainable future for this important local landmark. The local community will really benefit from their plans for a creative space that treasures the past while providing for the future.”

Cllr Mike Baldock, cabinet member for planning and heritage, said:

“The Trust’s vision of a creative and community hub is a wonderful way of saving this important medieval church and providing for the local community. It is imperative that we care for our local heritage landmarks and preserve them for future generations to enjoy.”