Exeter church awarded major lottery grant
ONE of Exeter’s landmark churches, renowned for its high flying wildlife, has been awarded a bumper lottery grant.
The Church of St Michael and All Angels on Mount Dinham, has been awarded a £40,100 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund for a series of projects which will bring together cultural and environmental interests in a unique setting.
The grant will go towards the cost of installing a newly restored, historic pipe organ and a webcam trained on the nest of a breeding pair of peregrine falcons high on the church’s spire.
It represents a significant recognition of St Michael’s unique and long-standing contribution to our choral and organ music heritage, and its importance as a nesting site for peregrine falcons.
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Nigel Browne, organist at St Michael’s, and Diocesan Organ Advisor, said: “With changes in fashion, many such instruments have disappeared over the last half century, so it is very heartening to see a large and comprehensive historic organ restored and arriving in the City of Exeter.”
Nick Dixon, local ornithologist and raptor biologist, who has been observing St Michael’s peregrines since 1997, said: “Live streaming of the birds’ breeding and feeding behaviour will provide fascinating insights for the wildlife community and expand awareness of Mount Dinham's environmental heritage on a global scale."
News of the award follows a three-year fundraising campaign at St Michael’s, building on funding from Viridor Credits Environmental Company, through Pennon Environmental Fund, the Allchurches Trust, and generous donations from members and friends of the church.
The award has been received with great enthusiasm by members of Mount Dinham’s local community, as it will help to place the area squarely on the map as a site of significant cultural interest in Exeter.
An exciting series of heritage activities, including a music recital series, public lectures and choral outreach events, will help transform St Michael’s church into a centre of musical and educational activity for the whole community, and develop it as a leading venue for public events.
For up to date information on the projects, go to www.stmichaelsmountdinham.wordpress.com.