Financial boost for our ‘National Treasure’


Chesterfield’s most iconic structure gets a boost from the government during the pandemic – but it has survived many threats through its long history, as Barrie Farnsworth reports

CHESTERFIELD Parish Church is one of 445 heritage sites across the country to receive a financial boost from the government. The town’s Grade 1-listed St Mary and All Saints Church – better known as the Crooked Spire – will receive £281,548, which covers 80 per cent of the cost of replacing failing roofs on the chancel and the side aisles. The Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund is designed to secure the future of Britain’s museums, galleries, theatres, independent cinemas, heritage sites and music venues with grants and loans. They include famous places like Blackpool’s Winter Gardens, the International Bomber Command Centre in Lincolnshire and the Piecehall in Halifax. Chesterfield’s vicar, the Rev Patrick Coleman, said: “The Crooked Spire is consistently among the ten greatest visitor attractions in the East Midlands, and brings in tens of thousands of visitors to Chesterfield in a normal year. “It is a significant national treasure, keeping at its heart the purposes of worship of God and telling the good news of Christ, which are always its primary purpose, and – as visitors so often tell us – this makes the place so much more than a museum. “The team at the Parish Church has worked tirelessly to make the building accessible and COVID-secure for all who visit for any reason, and this grant will enable us to ensure a safe and dry welcome, as well as making up for lost visitor income, and enabling us to continue our programme of investment in improving facilities within the building.”