Raising the roof in Roberttown church appeal

high hopes: Roberttown parish church vicar Richard Burge and Mark Hoole (d205b227)

high hopes: Roberttown parish church vicar Richard Burge and Mark Hoole (d205b227)

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A VILLAGE church is aiming high to raise money for vital repairs.

Roberttown All Saints is asking people to sponsor roof and ridge tiles to bring in enough cash to replace the whole roof.

Emergency repairs have already been done after plaster fell from the ceiling and this means the church can continue to be used.

But an architect’s report spells out a need for 5,600 new tiles sponsored at £10 per tile, and 100 ridge tiles at £50 each. In all, the church needs to raise around £250,000.

Vicar the Rev Richard Burge said: “Roberttown Parish Church has served the community for many generations, being a place of worship and a caring centre for baptisms, weddings and funerals as well as now providing regular coffee mornings, weekly charity shop and social events.

“Through previous fundraising, we have been able to renovate and alter the building including essential fabric repairs, provision of toilets, a bigger kitchen and multi-purpose area for increasing services to the community.

“Recently, there has been a fall of plaster from the ceiling. Temporary emergency repairs have been done, fixing netting to the underside of the roof to catch any further falls of plaster, which has meant we can continue to use the building until we are able to replace the whole roof.”

Mr Burge thinks the appeal is realistic. “And by sponsoring tiles we have put it on a more personal level in which people can get involved,” he said.

He said some children had already given their pocket money to the fund, and people putting change into jars had raised £600.

Parochial parish council member Mark Hoole said: “The church is much loved within the community. The amount we need to raise might seem daunting at first, but it is do-able. We will do it. People here have emotional ties to the church and you can’t put a price on that. It is vital All Saints is here for the whole village.”

To boost the major fundraising drive, people are invited to view the changes at an open day on Saturday July 14, when the 167-year-old church will be open from 9.30am to 4.30pm.

Contributions can be left with churchwarden Sandra Clay, of 15 Church Road, Roberttown, or at Buckles Family Butchers and Ye Olde Fruit and Veg Shop.

Certificates will be issued to tile sponsors as UK taxpayers can increase the value of sponsorship through a gift aid form.