The St Matthew's community is "The Church on the Hill serving Walsall".
We support education. 1,000 students come through our doors each week during term time (pre-Covid) from Blue Coat Academy. Another 4,000 students come from about eight other schools to learn about history/heritage, to enjoy Christmas and end of term award ceremonies with their parents, to perform in concerts and to exhibit their art. At present, voluntary and community contributors pay ALL the costs EVERY year of keeping the building safe and open - approx. £25,000 in total - we get no external funding and no other income. To keep the church both safe and open, we need to provide the typical provision for any school environment in Walsall - security lighting, CCTV and access control. We need you to help us pay the extra costs of upgrading security to a modern standard for a public building.
Funding will pay for
- Security Lighting
- CCTV cameras to deter criminal damage.
- Access control allowing the right people in and keeping the wrong people out
St Matthew's Church is the iconic building of Walsall's skyline. It's Walsall oldest and most important of the three Grade II* listed buildings in the town. It is essential to care for heritage, yet it's so easy to take the presence of a huge building like the church for granted - but it only exists if it is looked after. People assume since it's been there for hundreds of years it will always continue to be there. Not so. The building is under real threat with two malicious fires and a lead theft in the last year. To make the church safer, we need protection: protection for the building and protection for our many visitors.
What effect will your donation have? First it will contribute to the costs. Also, every small donation proves "Community Support" which prompts big donors like Heritage Lottery to release large funds needed to repair roof and windows. Your £5 gift will be worth £50 to heritage in the long term.
The church benefits very many people who do not take part in Sunday services. We hold Heritage Open Days each year and for many years held a Community Day on the church Green. We are a performance venue with pantomime, a capella and beatbox vocalists, stand-up comedy, choirs, orchestras, bands and graduation ceremonies for Wolverhampton University. We are a "Place of Welcome" - a safe space for vulnerable people each Tuesday. We give free food and advice to those who ask and donate to Ablewell Street Food Bank. We hold a club for elderly people with telephone and practical support. We support local charities with financial donations - such as H2HU. We have traditional English bell ringing on a nationally important ring of 12 bells. Hundreds of hours are given by volunteers - litter picking, improving green spaces in the churchyard and the whole Church Hill Conservation Area and practical jobs for neighbours. Photo credit: Steven Kendrick