Listed church appeal to raise funds for roof

PUBLISHED: 16:50 08 June 2006 | UPDATED: 14:44 12 May 2010

Church warden John Simpson, left, and the Rev Donald McFadyen at Bassingbourn Parish Church. Picture: DANIEL WILSON 1755DW09

Church warden John Simpson, left, and the Rev Donald McFadyen at Bassingbourn Parish Church. Picture: DANIEL WILSON 1755DW09

BASSINGBOURN Parish Church has launched an appeal in a bid to raise £175,000 to repair its roof. The roof was rebuilt and changed from lead to slate in 1864 – but now it is coming to the end of its life. The main problem is that water is getting into the

BASSINGBOURN Parish Church has launched an appeal in a bid to raise £175,000 to repair its roof.

The roof was rebuilt and changed from lead to slate in 1864 - but now it is coming to the end of its life.

The main problem is that water is getting into the walls from parapet gutters because lead-lined downpipes go vertically inside the walls before discharging out into downpipes.

And following an inspection of the Grade I listed building in 2002 the work which now needs to be carried out includes:

# Ripping off the slates and timber battening.

# Rebuilding the lead gutters and downpipes so the water goes straight into external downpipes.

# Cross-battening the roof slopes with water-proof sheeting between the new slates fixed.

# Replacing all lead flashings.

# Repairing plaster on the side of the nave walls and aisle walls.

John Simpson, church warden and project manager, said: "The roof is in a poor state. It has been repaired as the years have gone by but there comes a point where you are just patching and patching over previous work.

"So both sides of the roof will be stripped and it will be re-engineered so water goes straight out of the wall," he said.

English Heritage has already offered £68,000 towards the cost of the project and the church has raised an additional £28,000 through fund-raising.

However, the Rev Donald McFadyen said they hope to raise another £85,000 through community funding in order to complete the restoration by December.

Mr Simpson said: "The cost of the project was more than we had anticipated but if it was left any longer the plaster would blow off completely.

"We might get away with it for another five years, but you can't guarantee that and if it was to be left any longer it could cost more in the future."

Work to the roof will begin on August 7.

Mr McFadyen said: "We are quietly confident we will be able to raise the money and have the restoration completed by December.

"You discover people's emotional attachment to the building. It stands for something significant in their lives.

"And at the end of the day, it's about people, and buildings have meaning because of what goes on in them."

While the work is being carried out, a temporary scaffolding roof will be erected over the whole of the nave roof so the building can continue to be used withoutdisruption.

Mr McFadyen said: "Hopefully, the project has the benefit of building relationships with people who feel it's their church but who don't feel a strong relationship with it at the moment.

"Part of our job is to capture the communities imagination in a fresh way."

If anyone would like to support the appeal, contact the Bassingbourn PCC treasurer, Sam Spreadbury at 3 Kefford Close, Bassingbourn, SG8 5UL.


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Royston Crow. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the Royston Crow