THE vicar of a historic 11th century church made a passionate appeal for help to finance the replacement of its roof.
Much of the south side of St Andrew’s Church, in Forest Road, Greenstead, needs urgent attention amid fears it will be permanently damaged.
Now Vicar Sue Howlett and Ordinary Sam Lees have launched a fundraiser aimed at raising essential funds to save the Grade II listed building.
The work requires the removal of the roof tiles and their replacement with identical replacements.
However, the damage under the tiles is unknown until removed, which means it is impossible to estimate how much the lifeline project will cost.
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“There could be damaged woodwork or rotten wood that needs to be repaired,” Lees said. “Suddenly, a job that was going to cost £ 40,000 could then cost six figures. ”
Ms Howlett added: “We have come to a point where we can no longer cut corners, the tiles need to be replaced. Covid has kept us from progressing in our work but now we have to start.
“We just found a developing leak.
“The need for work is urgent enough that we have to start by the spring of next year, but we have to submit the plans to the architects.
“We can put money into it ourselves, but it would drastically reduce what we can do in the future.
“Our finances are not too healthy – that would deplete a large part of our reserves.
“We get little pots of money here and there, but we want to use them to focus on the work we do in the community.
“If we use them for the roof, it will take away money that helps people. ”
St Andrew’s itself is located in the heart of the Greenstead Estate and dates back over a thousand years to the 11th century.
It was used by parliamentary troops during the siege of Colchester in the summer of 1648 and there is evidence of recycled Roman materials in some of the walls.
“The church is used a lot in the community, it is appreciated and appreciated and has been a beacon in this area for years,” Ms. Howlett said.
“It has a special place in the hearts of the people here and we want to preserve and protect it so that it can be enjoyed for many years to come. ”
You can support the church via bit.ly/3ld7uR9.