26th Oct, 2016

Chapel’s restoration work leads to top award

Evesham Editorial 30th Oct, 2014 Updated: 20th Oct, 2016

HARD-WORKING volunteers who restored Pershore Cemetery’s historic chapel to its former glory have been honoured with a prestigious national award.

Members of Pershore Town Council’s Cemetery Committee scooped the English Heritage Angel award and a certificate of appreciation for their volunteering work at the Defford Road site.

A representative from the town council is expected to attend the red carpet award ceremony hosted by Lord Andrew Lloyd-Webber in London on Monday (November 3).

Kind-hearted committee members donned their overalls and picked up paint brushes, hammers and screwdrivers to keep

costs down to give one of the town’s landmarks a new lease of life.

A number of hours were also spent talking with local builders and a conservation officer to ensure the chapel, which seats about 60 people, was restored with the greatest possible care.

Coun Chris Parsons, chairman of the committee, said: “I was extremely pleased that the hard work of the Cemetery Committee was recognised by English Heritage in this way.

“The chapel is now restored to its former glory and people who have used the building so far have been extremely pleased with the tranquillity and dignity that the chapel can provide for funeral services.

“Those that have used the facilities to date have been very impressed at what we are now able to offer.”

Since its renovation the building now has resources for catering, a modern sound system and is now heated.

The award is the latest boost for the area and comes just months after Pershore Town Council secured £52,100 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to convert the Cemetery Lodge on Defford Road into a Family History Research Centre.

Refurbishment over the next 12 months will see the lodge developed to include IT communications which will enable visitors to find out about the lives of families of those buried at the site.

Additionally displays will be created to explain the role of the workhouse in the town and the identify the large number of pauper graves at the cemetery as well as the war graves sections.

The development will also work in partnership with Worcestershire County Council’s heritage department.

Coun Parsons also highlighted the committee’s work in a presentation to members of Wychavon District Council during the authority’s Building Design Awards on October 14.

The chapel has been shortlisted in the Heritage section of the popular awards and the committee will find out if they have been successful in early December.