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St Bartholomew's Church - click to enlarge


The Friends of St Bartholomew's Church Lostwithiel
Registered Charity Number 1115047


Building Appeal How to Help

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The ancient stannary town of Lostwithiel occupies an important position in Cornwall's history. The Church of St Bartholomew has been at the forefront of historical events, both as a point of departure to the Mediterranean during the Crusades, and later during rigours of the Civil War. Thus St Bartholomew's Church symbolises the history of Lostwithiel and has also been a focus of Christian worship and social concern within the community for well over a thousand years. Sited in the heart of the community, this fine building is the most notable architectural feature in the town and attracts many visitors.

Exterior - North Door
St Bartholomew's Church - North Door
Photograph © 2005 Jonathan Barker

The Building

This lovely church building has many wonderful features to cherish that make it well worth maintaining. For example the East Window is the tallest in any Cornish Parish Church. This and many other examples are depicted in a The Church Building - Some Features to Cherish.

Interior looking south east
St Bartholomew's Church - Interior looking southeast
Photograph © 2005 Jonathan Barker

Sharing the Cost

Despite their best endeavours, the cost of maintaining this Grade 1 listed building is more than the congregation can raise. The building enjoys a special position in the affections of many people outside the church's regular worshippers. The Friends of St Bartholomew's Church Lostwithiel (FOSB) was set up in 1995 to reach out and appeal to this wider community of supporters.


The Friends was established to assist in the restoration, preservation, repair, maintenance, improvement and beautification of St Bartholomew's Church and of the monuments, fittings, fixtures, stained glass, furniture, ornaments and chattels in the Church and Churchyard. For full details please see our constitution.


FOSB was originally set up in 1995. On 8 May 2006 FOSB adopted a new constitution and on 3 July 2006 this was registered with the Charity Commission, Registered Charity Number 1115047.


St Bartholomew's Church - roof repairs 2003   St Bartholomew's Church - roof repairs 2003
St Bartholomew's Church Roof Restoration Autumn 2003
Photographs © 2003 Kitty Chanter Menendez

Between its inauguration in 1995 and 1 November 2008, FOSB has, by soliciting donations and running fund-raising events, raised £105,408. Of this just £1,193 remained in FOSB's bank accounts, grants of £104,215 having been made to St Bartholomew's Parochial Church Council (PCC) to help them with the the following projects:

Grants made by FOSB towards church restoration projects:
2008 Re-hanging the Bells £8,000
2008 Restoration of Tower and Spire £32,000
2004 Installation of a new central heating system £16,000
2003 Restoration of the church roof £40,000
1998 Refurbishment of the vestry £3,215
1996 Upgrading the church electrics £5,000
  Total grants made since inauguration £104,215

Barts Scaffolding 08 Jul 08 - click to enlarge   St Barts Spire 2008 - Close Scrutiny
St Bart's Tower and Spire: Scaffolding and Close Scrutiny
Left: photograph by Douglas Steven, Right: photograph by Ian Philipson for Douglas Steven
Photographs © 2008 Douglas Steven

New Radiators   New Boiler
St Bartholomew's New Central Heating System
Photographs © 2005 Douglas Steven

Much Achieved

The water damage shown in the photograph of the west wall has been repaired as part of the PCC's Tower and Spire and Bells Project. In the summer of 2009, when the bells have been rehung in their new frame and the clock reinstalled, the total cost of putting everything to rights will have been close to £200,000. The whole community has worked wonderfully to raise money and hunt for grants. FOSB's contribution of roughly 20% has been relatively modest, but nevertheless we have been the largest single grant provider, weighing in with £40,000. Moreover grants made by some organisations don't actually get paid until the work is completed, whereas our grants make funds available when work has to be paid for. Hearty thanks to all our friends and supporters for making this possible.

Damp West Wall
West wall damaged by water
penetrating from the tower
thankfully now repaired
Photograph © 2006 Douglas Steven

Piggy-Bank Depleted

Having paid out grants in 2007 and 2008 totalling £40,000, by 1 November 2008, FOSB had just £1,193 left at the bank, while the need for unspectacular but essential maintenance work is unremitting. Recently there have been murmurings about rainwater goods, and when the west wall has dried out and been repainted, the rest of the interior will suddenly look shabby. Raising money for boring routine maintenance work is actually what FOSB gets excited about. With the generous support of our townspeople and the wider public we strive to assist the PCC with their task of enhancing and maintaining this lovely old church for the benefit of present and future generations.

Work is Ongoing - Please Help

The task of keeping such a building weatherproof and fit for purpose is ongoing, and to fail to do so would be a disgrace. This appeal is to all those who live in catchment area of the town and in the wider world beyond who care about this lovely ancient building and wish to maintain it. Persistent, steady, cheerfully sustainable help is what we are particularly looking for.

What to do next

Please navigate to the Building page for more about the building and to the How to Help page to see how YOU can make a difference!

Building Appeal How to Help

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