The 120m-high building stands out as the main landmark when the island is viewed from the sea and, being 1300 years old, is of architectural and historical interest.
Exposed and battered by Atlantic weather, however, it is in a poor state of repair – particularly its roof.
Now a local steering group has set up a £400,000 appeal to restore the building and adapt it so that it is not only a place of worship but a visitor centre. This would provide an environmental-studies base with exhibition and lecture facilities and a refuge for visitors caught in bad weather.
The development would reinforce “study of the broader environmental and conservation issues at the heart of Lundy’s existence”, says the island’s Landmark Trust Warden and diver-contact Rebecca MacDonald, who sees the appeal as a race against time to save the fast-deteriorating building.
Heritage Lottery Fund money is available but insufficient on its own, so one-off donations or sponsorship of a roof-slate are being sought.
A voluntary marine nature reserve was established around Lundy Island in 1971, and 15 years later it was designated as England’s first marine protected area.
In 2010 it became Britain’s first Marine Conservation Zone, and it is a well-known destination for divers, noted particularly for its seals. The island is 12 miles from the north Devon coast and boat-crossings are usually from Bideford or Ilfracombe.
Details of the appeal can be found here
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