HARDWORKING fundraisers have raised more than £10,000 to save a historic church – but English Heritage has refused to give any additional cash as repairs weren’t ‘urgent’ enough.
Over a year ago a fundraising appeal was launched to save St Laurence Church in Frodsham after £200,000 worth of decay and criminal damage left its future hanging in the balance.
Now, after months of fundraising, parishioners and committee members have managed to raise £10,943 for the 12th century church.
But, despite water pouring though the roof slowly destroying a priceless organ and the town’s only Grade I listed building facing potential closure, English Heritage refused a grant for £37,000 because the repairs were not deemed a ‘priority’.
Now, after the church used all of their £25,000 funds to fix some of the most urgent repairs, committee members and parishioners still need to raise almost £180,000 in the next three years to save the historic church.
Assistant priest Kath Williamson said the support and generosity from the local community and church members had been ‘overwhelming’.
“As a result of the monies raised, some of the essential roof and tower repairs have been done in order to ensure the church is water tight and safe for use,” she said.
“However, much major work is still outstanding and the congregation is now looking to raise approximately a further £180,000 via grants and fundraising.”
Last year the church applied for a £37,000 funding grant from English Heritage but it was refused after a last-minute rush saw other places of worship who had more ‘urgent’ work handed a total of £2.1m.
But Ms Williamson said the church had been encouraged to apply again this year for the new formatted grants and were hopeful this time they would be successful.
“This beautiful building is the only Anglican church in Frodsham.
“Members of the church are determined that this wonderful asset to the community will continue.”
In October 2011 a diocesan inspection revealed the church was suffering from extensive decay and damage, needing urgent work to windows, stonework, the roof and guttering.
Over the next few months the church will be holding fundraising events in an attempt to raise the remaining money to complete the repairs which need to be finished by 2016, including a wedding event from 10am-2pm on March 2.