Architect checks church condition

A FULL-scale architectural survey is being carried out on Royston Parish Church to see what repairs need to be carried out. Once the inspection has been completed the church will consider launching an appeal to help meet the costs of the repair work. Arch

A FULL-scale architectural survey is being carried out on Royston Parish Church to see what repairs need to be carried out.

Once the inspection has been completed the church will consider launching an appeal to help meet the costs of the repair work.

Architect Jeremy Lander began work on Thursday when a cherry picker was used to allow access to the upper levels of the church tower and the roof.

Mr Lander, son of former Royston mayor Charles Lander, said: "The Church of England requires every church to be inspected by an architect every five years.


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"Although officially one is not due until 2007, in the circumstances the church thought it would be sensible for us to carry out one now as part of a general audit of the building's fabric," he said.

Mr Lander, a director of Cambridge-based Freeland Rees Roberts Architects, has been appointed church architect and adviser to the parochial church council after the sudden death of Bruno Hooker, who had held the position for many years.

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Talking about the church, he said: "As with many churches it was substantially altered by the Victorians, but it contains many elements of ancient fabric and is rightly listed Grade I."

Curate, the Rev Averil Lauckner, said: "If major repairs are found to be necessary then we hope English Heritage will assist with some of the cost, but local fund-raising will certainly be needed.

"If an appeal is required, I hope residents and businesses alike and those with a love of architecture and heritage will support us."

Neil Gutteridge, secretary of the parochial church council, said the church was as "essential part" of Royston's fabric.

"We take our responsibility for the church building seriously and hope that we will secure the full support of the community should we need to launch an appeal for funds."

The parish church and Mr Lander will take the opportunity of the inspection to examine, too, possible options for the development of a church hall.

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