AN APPEAL has been launched by members of a historic Droitwich church to raise £100,000 to fix the roof which is in dire need of repair.
The section above the north aisle of St Andrews Church has been leaking water onto the walls.
And there are fears that the longer it takes to get the cash in place, the more damage will be done to the Grade I listed church.
Masonry repairs are needed, the timber will have to be replaced and the area will also need repointing.
And with the repairs predicted to cost £100,000, a working group has been set up to look into grants the church can apply for and fund-raising activities.
Back in December, the Government announced a £15million fund specifically to repair the roofs of listed churches.
St Andrews applied to the Church of England for a grant from that Listed Places of Worship Roof Repair Fund but was unsuccessful.
The church will be applying again when the next round of funding opens but knows it cannot rely on that source alone which is why the working group has been set up.
Rev Bev Jameson, the team vicar for Droitwich’s churches, is urging any residents, community groups and other Droitwich organisations to get behind the campaign and wants anyone who can help in any way to come forward.
She told The Standard: “The roof repairs have been something we have been thinking about for a while and it has now got to the stage where we need to do something.
“The church is open six days a week to give residents and visitors plenty of time to come, have a look around or spend time reflecting.
“We have been involved with all the events that have taken place, such as the food festival, Charter Day and Saltfest.
“It is a beautiful church, but more importantly, it is at the heart of the Droitwich community because of all the people who use it or who come here every week.”
Among the groups which meet there are the Droitwich Arts Network (DAN), the scouts and the brownies.
The Droitwich Lions, which also holds its monthly book sales there, have contributed £450 towards the St Andrews Church appeal after members heard about the structural problems it was facing.
For ten years, the group has held its monthly book sale at the church and the proceeds from one of those sales were among the contribution given.
The Lions Ladies who sell cakes and bric-a-brac alongside us decided to do the same.
Bill Phillips, spokesperson for the Droitwich Lions said: “We are hoping our combined donation will start the ball rolling and the generous people of Droitwich will help to secure the future of this building which has significant historic importance.
“The church has been very good to us and does so much for the Droitwich community – it now needs the Droitwich community to do something for it in return.”
The iconic building was constructed in the 12th Century, parts of it are Norman and it is believed St Richard of Chichester was baptised there.
Anyone wanting to find out more about the fund-raising campaign, organise events for the appeal or offer any help should e-mail droitwichparish@O2.co.uk or call the parish office on 01905 794952
It is open between 9am and 1pm Monday to Thursday.
Visit http://www.droitwichparish.org.uk/about/andrew.html for more on St Andrews Church.