May 3, 2018 9.17 am This story is over 68 months old

Uncertain future for old Lincoln church

Repairs could cost more than £1 million.

There’s uncertainty over the future of St Swithin’s Church in Lincoln city centre, which has been closed since Christmas.

Architects are investigating the roof due to plaster coming away, and the repairs could cost more than £1 million.

The Grade II listed church in Lincoln dates back to the 1800s.

Around two months ago the Diocese of Lincoln commissioned a feasibility study of the building, which is still ongoing.

Priest Jim Prestwood told The Lincolnite that they are currently looking at other options in the immediate vicinity in the meantime.

A brief history

The original St Swithin’s church, on the other side of Freeschool Lane, which is now a green area and a cafe, suffered a bad fire in 1664 before being rebuilt in stone in 1801.

The original church was taken down in 1884 with the current church building consecrated in 1888.

It was built on the old sheep market square, with the history remaining in the name of its street, St Swithin’s square.

St Swithin’s Church. Photo: Joseph Verney for The Lincolnite

Photo: Joseph Verney for The Lincolnite

Church relaunched

The church’s future had been in doubt in 2014 due to low attendances of around 12 people.

Priest Jim Prestwood moved up from London to relaunch the church four years ago and it now has a growing congregation of around 300, with 50% aged under 25.

Church services take place in the mornings around 10.30am at St Faith and St Martin Church of England Junior School in Lincoln.

The evening services, at around 7pm, are being housed at the Bishop Grosseteste University Chapel.

Jim told The Lincolnite: “It’s a minor inconvenience with a few logistical challenges. We don’t have the building, but we still have faith and the purpose, so it’s business as usual.”