Lottery windfall for church

A Moyle church group will be able to save money during the recession and make its hall more comfortable for the local community thanks to a grants windfall from the Big Lottery Fund.

Billy Parish Church is one of 15 groups across Northern Ireland awarded grants totalling almost £130,000 from the Big Lottery Fund’s Energy Efficient Venues programme.

The programme, which is now closed for applications, offers Lottery cash to local groups to carry out improvements to their community venues so they make savings on their heating and lighting costs and cut down on their spending.

The group has been awarded a grant of £9,475 to carry out improvements to its church hall, which is 200-years-old and once served as a Methodist Church.

Work will include the replacement of windows with double glazing, installation of new lighting, and replacement of existing electric heaters with energy efficient ones. The rector, Rev John Anderson, said: “The building was bought by the parish in 1970 and improvements were done at the time to convert it from a church into a hall. The windows and heating system were put in then.

“But the wooden window frames are rotting, and the heat escapes though them. This is a big stone walled building and has always been hard to heat. The new electric heating will be more efficient, and will be better placed throughout the hall giving us a better distribution of heat and more flexible use.”

“The hall is used by parishioners and the local community for a variety of activities including bowling, Mothers’ Union meetings, and parish functions. “This work will make the hall warmer and will save us money in the long run.”

Frank Hewitt, the Big Lottery Fund’s NI Chair said: “The Energy Efficient Venues programme supports community organisations to carry out energy efficiency improvements to their venues that help them make savings during this difficult period of recession, and have a positive effect on the environment.

“This has been a very popular programme and we have awarded grants to a range of organisations across Northern Ireland. Organisations should be aware that the programme is now closed for applications.”

Frank Hewitt, the Big Lottery Fund’s NI Chair said: “The Energy Efficient Venues programme supports community organisations to carry out energy efficiency improvements to their venues that help them make savings during this difficult period of recession, and have a positive effect on the environment.

“This has been a very popular programme and we have awarded grants to a range of organisations across Northern Ireland. Organisations should be aware that the programme is now closed for applications.”