Progress being made on funding for Church Roof

Over the past year we have been working with the team at St John The Baptist Church in Needham Market as they try to get funding to repair their beautiful roof from damage it has received over time.

You can read more about the roof itself here: http://www.needhammarketparishchurch.co.uk/docs/fund.html

Ray Levett, who has been heavily involved in the fundraising, gave us this update:photo-029

‘For the last 18 months we have been fund raising and to date we have raised in excess of £102,000 which we are very pleased with. We have been applying for grants to national and local Charities and firms and have also set up our own BTMyDonate account which has raised almost £1000. We applied to the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF)  and they granted us £15,600 under their Round 1 process which allowed us to proceed with our current investigation works using the scaffolding which was erected internally and externally. We also wrote to Prince Charles who made a donation!

That allowed our Architect, our Structural Engineer, an Asbestos Surveyor and a timber specialist to closely inspect the oak hammerbeams in the roof. We are currently waiting for their reports but when received, our Architect will be able to send his Specification of Works out to tender, we hope by September this year with a target start date for the main roof works of April 2017.

We have held numerous meetings with the Diocese of St. Edmundsbury and Ipswich together with the local heritage Planning Officer to explain our proposed work prior to submitting the necessary applications for statutory approvals as the Church is Listed Grade 1 so we have to obtain the necessary approvals before we can start the works on site.

We have considered the wildlife in the town and are considering fitting some swift nesting boxes t the outside of the Church as they are an endangered species and we photo-014would like to see an increase on the swift population locally but this point will need careful consideration.

Due to the recent heavy storms, rainwater has been blown into the Church so the essential need to repair the roof still exists but unfortunately the estimated cost of the work has increased from £250,000 to £380,000 including VAT therefore my wife Ann has been enrolled into the team in order to continue with the necessary fund raising process to ensure that our target is met hopefully, by the beginning of next year which will allow us to instruct the chosen builder accordingly. As each Winter approaches, we worry that the rainwater will continue to penetrate the leaking roof and make matters worse hence our desire to raise as much money as possible so that we are in a position to proceed next April. In that regard, we held a Music and Words concert in the Ark last night (Friday) and raised £301 and on the 2nd July we have some Produce stalls outside the Church as another fund raiser.’

If you would like to make a donation to help fund the repairs and work required then you can do so by following this link: https://mydonate.bt.com/charities/parishchurchofstjohnthebaptistneedhammarket

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