TWO South Lakeland churches and one from Eden have benefited to the tune of nearly £150,000 to help fund roof repairs

They are among nearly 400 Church of England parishes to receive grants for urgent repairs to their church roofs in the first round of awards from the Listed Places of Worship Roof Repair Fund.

Among the successful applicants in the Diocese of Carlisle is St Cuthbert’s Church in Kentmere which has been awarded £96,000 towards the cost of work to repair the structure of the building’s roof.

The Rev Shanthi Thompson, priest-in-charge of Staveley, Ings and Kentmere, said: “We are absolutely delighted to have been successful in the application.

“I’m delighted that the hard work of so many people in our congregation has been rewarded in this way. The Diocese has also been incredibly supportive throughout the process, for which everyone is extremely grateful.”

It is hoped work at St Cuthbert’s will begin in the summer and will form part of a wider project as the church looks to develop as a place of pilgrimage and prayer.

A £42,000 award is also to be made to St John the Evangelist in Levens. It will fund nearly three quarters of the costs of replacing the roof in the nave and forms part of the church’s overall ‘Watertight and Warm’ project.

The Rev Ruth Crossley, priest-in-charge of Levens, said: “We could hardly believe it when we learned that we’d been successful.

“It is very exciting for us. We have already money set aside to go towards the balance of the costs which means we are able to push on with the work as soon as possible.”

St Patrick's at Patterdale, an Anglican and Methodist Church, is to receive an award of £11,400.

The awards form part of a £30 million funding package for listed places of worship, with confirmation that a second round of £25 million is to open for 2015-16.

ChurchCare, the buildings division of the Church of England, welcomed the grants for a total of 372 parish churches – worth just over £19 million - and said that this would make an “immeasurable” difference to local communities.

The Bishop of Penrith, the Rt Rev Robert Freeman, said: “It’s wonderful news to hear that this money has been awarded to help protect our parish churches.

“This will enable these wonderful buildings to be better used to serve their communities and as places of worship now and in the future.”