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Repairs to deteriorating church roof in South Molton will begin next month

PUBLISHED: 07:00 19 March 2017

St Mary Magdalene Parish Church in South Molton. Picture: Andy Keeble

St Mary Magdalene Parish Church in South Molton. Picture: Andy Keeble

Archant

Nearly £200,000 has been raised for essential repairs to the roof of St Mary Magdalene Church

Work to repair the crumbling roof of at St Mary Magdalene Church in South Molton will get underway next month.

The 15th century Grade I listed parish church is placed in the highest risk category of Historic England’s Heritage at Risk Register.

The building conservationists labelled the church as being in ‘immediate risk of further rapid deterioration or loss of fabric’.

South Molton Parochial Church Council launched an appeal for £250,000 in July 2015 to carry out the repairs, as well as improve the toilets and catering facilities.

St Mary Magdalene Parish Church in South Molton. Picture: Andy KeebleSt Mary Magdalene Parish Church in South Molton. Picture: Andy Keeble

Through fundraising and Government grants they have raised £170,000 – enough to carry out work on the roof.

The Reverend Michael Grandey, the Rector of South Molton, said: “It’s great that at long last work to help maintain and improve this beautiful and important church building will begin.

“We want to ensure that the church remains an asset to the whole community and can be used in ways which will attract more people to come in.

“We have a long way to go but I am very excited about all the future possibilities.

We are extremely grateful to the generosity of so many people in the town who have contributed to the appeal and who support us in so many different ways.”

The work to the roof, which is being carried out by Kilbridge Roofing, is expected to be completed by October.

During that period, the south aisle and Lady Chapel will be closed, but the rest of the church will remain open as usual.

Church warden Bob Redwood said more fundraising is needed to protect the building for the future.

“Whilst we have been able to proceed with the roof repair, we still need to continue raising funds, especially if we are to achieve our aim of installing a toilet and proper catering facilities,” he said.

“Sadly we now find that we have a serious issue with dry rot at ground level, and this will be our next challenge in ensuring a building that is fit for use, not only today, but into the future.”

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