St Andrew’s PCC wants to update everyone with what is happening about the church roof, following the theft of a large portion of lead from its roof in April.

A group of brilliant volunteers has put a temporary roof on, but we need to make this cover good and complete before the winter weather hits (although whilst writing this in the summer heat that time feels a long way off!). Behind the scenes, Sebastian and the clergy team at the beginning of August secured consents from South Cambs and the Diocese to replace the missing lead with steel, and also the remaining lead. This was the result of a lot of hard work from the West Wratting team and our thanks go to them for that.

This means we can now move to get proper prices and then work scheduled for the repair and renewal of the roof, and then eventually redecoration of the church to deal with the spring water damage.

We have some funds allocated over the years for fabric repairs, and some events already planned to get more funds raised, as we think the total costs are be likely to be in the region of £80,000, plus the redecoration. We can cover about half of this at present through current church funds, so we think we need to raise about another £40,000. We need to get this money confirmed or in the bank before we hire the contractors, and as we hope we would be able to get the work done before our traditionally bad weather starting in January this is clearly going to be a tight timeframe.

We have to raise this money ourselves, as the Diocese does not have provision. And if we don’t keep the church in good condition there is a very real risk the building will be closed.

So, what next? Well, we have a plan of action, part of which is to apply for grants (some done, some to do), and part of which is to capitalise on existing fundraisers such as the June Balsham singers concert, the August clay shoot (on Saturday 27th August), the October concert (on Saturday  8th October),and  any other events people can organise or suggest to raise funds. We are also appealing to local landowners, businesses and people in the village to help in any way they possibly can.

If everyone could think about how to help, and then do it, that would be great, such as raising money from coffee mornings, darts matches/sponsored runs/ cycles/ dancing, really anything, please;  together we will make a HUGE difference.

The church building is there for everyone to enjoy, and it is not simply a religious building: it is there for anyone to sit in, meet in, drop in and make a cup of coffee/ drink of squash, and to use for anything, such as exhibitions such as we have seen  in the past with village history and war memories, through to pantomimes, concerts, displays on bell ringing, and anything else.

It is possibly the oldest building in the village, and it needs our help to stay open and alive for generations to come.

For more details, or to make donations or suggestions for fund raising, please ring Jeanette Job 01223 290706 or Linda Gorman 01223 290653. For anonymous donations, please send donations to the PCC Treasurer, Gary Birdit. Cheques can be made payable to “WWPCC”.

Thank you for reading this.