Heritage Lab have teamed up with St George’s Church Ramsgate
16 October 2023
St George’s Church Ramsgate
Heritage Lab are delighted to announce that they have commenced working with St George’s Church Ramsgate to help them with their ambitious Project 200 which seeks to restore and diversify the uses of the historic Grade I listed church in the heart of Ramsgate’s Heritage Action Zone.
Recently St George’s Regeneration officer has increased the community use of the Church with a variety of events including a series of yard sales and open days, a St George’s Day community parade, high profile music events with Ramsgate Music Hall and a very curiously creative venue for the Ramsgate Festival of Sound.
The building is still widely in use, but some sections are in poor condition, and some areas require urgent works. Recognising its importance and state of repair, the building has been placed on the Heritage at Risk register by Historic England.
Full of original features, the building is in need of some restoration to breathe new life into it to create a thriving hub in the local community and town centre.
Heritage Lab CIC is really excited to be working with St George’s Church to help the Church develop its proposals and fund-raising strategy.
St George’s church sits in the heart of Ramsgate Town Centre. It is a Grade 1 Listed building with an iconic lantern tower. The vision is for the church to be a ‘beacon of God’s love, a flourishing centre of Christian worship and a place which serves the needs of the local community.’
The Diocesan Mission Resources Group of the Canterbury Diocese has agreed to provide funding for up to 5 years to employ one or more project officers to support the regeneration of St George’s church site to enable the church’s mission to flourish in a sustainable way.
As well as being a centre for Christian worship, other ways the building may be used to serve the local community could include:
A Community Hub to help tackle local deprivation. St. George’s parish is in the top 3% most deprived parishes in England. At present the church hall hosts a food club, providing cheaper, healthier food to its members and a weekly community meal.
A place of heritage. The Ramsgate Future town plan states: “Restoring key landmark and heritage buildings can create significant improvements in appearance and perceptions, supporting a sense of civic pride.” St. George’s is one of only two Grade I listed buildings in the town and has potential to be a great visitor’s destination for tourists visiting the town.
An Educational Centre. St. George’s neighbours the lower school site of Chatham and Clarendon Grammar school and is used by them for weekly assemblies, occasional concerts and prize giving’s. It may be that there are possibilities of making greater educational use of our buildings.
An Arts Centre: In recent years there has been a rapid increase in artistic activity in Ramsgate. Even in the last few months, a number of new art galleries has opened. The church has also hosted a Christmas Tree festival in December and an Arts Festival in July over a number of years. St George’s Church have also been a venue for concerts, hosting a Baroque concert in December 2021 and a couple of concerts for the Festival of Sound in September 2022. Being such a large venue, there could be potential for the church to make a big contribution in this area.