Whaddon's summer fete to raise money for church roof

PUBLISHED: 15:52 11 July 2019

All the lead was stolen from the roof of the Whaddon church. Picture: St Mary's Whaddon

All the lead was stolen from the roof of the Whaddon church. Picture: St Mary's Whaddon

Archant

Whaddon's annual summer fete is being held this weekend - and this year's proceeds are going towards the £50,000 needed to help fund a new church roof after lead thieves struck last month.

St Mary's Church in Whaddon before the lead theft. Picture: St Mary's WhaddonSt Mary's Church in Whaddon before the lead theft. Picture: St Mary's Whaddon

St Mary's Church in the village had all of its lead stolen by thieves on two occasions between June 16 and 23, clearing the roof completely.

Churchwarden David Grech, who has lived in the village for 15 years, told the Crow: "The church has been at the heart of the community for 700 years, and we want to keep it for another 700.

"We have a temporary roof installed but that will only last for one or two years while we work on the solution. We can't keep patching it up forever.

READ MORE: Lead thieves target Whaddon church

The temporary roof of St Mary's Church in Whaddon. Picture: St Mary's WhaddonThe temporary roof of St Mary's Church in Whaddon. Picture: St Mary's Whaddon

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"We have got a few ideas for fundraisers over the coming months.

"The organisers are hoping that the community will turn out in force to show their support for the church and the re-roofing project."

A crowdfunding page has been set up for the church. It states: "Unfortunately our insurance policy will only cover a small portion of the cost of a permanent replacement roof, and we are therefore faced with finding approximately 75 per cent of the overall cost for re-roofing the church.

"We are a small village of only 250 houses, and will not be able to fund all of this from within the local community.

"But the church is a nationally important historic building, Listed at Grade I, and its future survival is important not just for our village, but as part of our shared cultural heritage. We therefore need to seek financial support from others who share our interest in historic structures and buildings that are a focus for rural communities."

The fete - which is being held at the church on Saturday - includes vintage cars, stalls, games, face-painting and a dog show. It opens at 2pm after a ploughman's lunch at the church. For more information go to www.whaddon.org/st-marys-church.

The crowdfunding page can be found at www.crowdfunder.co.uk/a-new-roof-for-st-marys-whaddon-after-lead-theft.

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