Work has started to fix the church tower and roof at St Peter’s. The church will be closed until late summer while the leaking roof is replaced and repairs are carried out to the tower.
The work is expected to cost more than £100,000. The church has been awarded a grant from the Listed Places of Worship Roof Repair Fund set up by the government to ensure churches remain open to the public. A further grant came from Viridor Credits which provides funding for community projects from money raised by landfill operators who pay a percentage of their landfill tax liability to the Landfill Communities Fund. Churchgoers are holding fund-raising events to meet the rest of the costs.
Specialist roofing contractors will be working on the Grade 1 listed building. The church building dates mainly from the 15th century although small parts are thought to be 13th century.
Churchwarden Martin Melia said: “It is a really exciting time. This is one of the oldest buildings in the area and it’s vital that it is preserved for future generations.”
A temporary roof will be built over the nave of the church while the whole of the existing roof is removed and the Tudor timbers beneath examined. All the existing roof slates will be replaced. The temporary roof is needed to protect historic wall paintings inside from further water damage.
The wooden roof on the tower will be replaced and the massive timbers supporting the two bells will be inspected for damage. As part of the work steel wires will be installed around the tower to enable it to be opened to visitors.
Services will be held at Catcott Primary School until St Peter’s reopens.