Parish raise the roof as restored church opens

PUBLISHED: 11:57 09 March 2006 | UPDATED: 14:36 12 May 2010

The work completed on the ceiling

The work completed on the ceiling

HAVING been threatened with closure over the past 30 years, the village of Croydon is now celebrating the future of its parish church. The Bishop of Huntingdon, the Rt Rev John Inge, led the packed service when All Saints Church was re-opened on Sunday. T

HAVING been threatened with closure over the past 30 years, the village of Croydon is now celebrating the future of its parish church. The Bishop of Huntingdon, the Rt Rev John Inge, led the packed service when All Saints Church was re-opened on Sunday. The church has re-opened after thousands of pounds has been spent on restoring it to its former glory - and Sunday saw the unveiling of a new nave roof and ceiling. Malcolm Ralph, chairman of the fabric committee, said: "From 2003, the congregation has been protected by safety netting covering the whole of the main body of the church to catch falling plaster. "Much structural strengthening has been added to the medieval structure and the striking new nave ceiling is a clever meld of old and new. "This project has resulted in the most dramatic improvement probably for several hundred years." In December, the church held a topping out ceremony to mark the completion of external work. Mr Ralph said that there are still some parts of the 800-year-old church which need restoring, including the windows. He said: "It was near derelict in the 1970s and we've been working since then to secure its future. "It has been absolutely worth the work. We've had to battle though enormous difficulties to save this historic treasure in a wonderful setting. "Residents have shown guts, determination and community spirit and Croydon can be justly proud of this achievement," he said. The work has been made possible by grants from English Heritage, Cambridgeshire Historic Churches Trust, on behalf of Waste Recycling Environment (Wren) and the Historic Churches Preservation Trust. - A commemorative booklet highlighting the work since 1990 has also been produced. To order a copy costing £6, e-mail Brenda Wittey on brenda@briar-cottage.co.uk

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