AN HISTORIC Lyme Regis church is set to be restored in a project worth a quarter of a million pounds.

Work is due to begin next month to restore St Michael & St George RC Church to its former glory.

The Gothic-style church, on Silver Street, is under constant attack from the elements and has reached a stage where considerable repair work is necessary. The work is expected to cost in the region of £250,000.

Funding has been awarded through grant offers from numerous charitable organisations including Historic England, Dorset Historical Churches Trust, Lyme Regis Town Council, Charlotte Marshall Charitable Trust, Llewellyn Edwardes Bell Trust and the Axe Vale Show Committee.

Parishioners of the church have themselves raised around £30,000 through fundraising.

Exterior work will be carried out between December and March 2021, to fulfil a condition laid down by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. The parish is currently seeking grants and is fundraising with a view to finance the interior work in spring 2021.

The Roman Catholic church is a Grade II listed building, meaning it is considered to be of special architectural or historic interest considered to be of national importance and therefore worth protecting. It was designed by the architect Mr E Goodridge of Bath, who was also the architect of the Old Chapel at Downside Abbey.

The foundation stone was laid in April 1835 and the first mass was celebrated there in 1837. It was the earliest Catholic Church in this part of the country to have been built after the Act of Catholic Emancipation of 1829.

The presbytery was constructed in 1838 and the old school room, originally three stories high, was constructed in 1840 for use as a school.

An additional piece of land at the back of the church, known as Godfreys Orchard, was purchased in 1843 and in 1987 a further piece of land was donated to form a car parking area.

The church underwent preservation works in 1991.

For more information about this restoration, visit or email