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Mells church awarded £96,000 to fix roof

Treasurer Nigel Savage and St Andrews, Mells

Treasurer Nigel Savage and St Andrews, M

ST Andrew’s Church goers in Mells have been handed a £96,500 boost after they were successful in applying for a government grant to repair their roof. 

The grant means the church has now reached its £154,000 target to start urgent repair work on the roof which has started to have an increasing number of leaks over recent years.

The church had been fundraising for the past seven years with an official roof repair fund campaign set up three years ago. In that time church goers have raised £32,000 which, with a VAT return, means they can now proceed to get the roof fixed. The majority of the £32,000 has come from the annual Mells Daffodil Festival which traditionally takes place on Easter Monday each year.

The £96,500 government grant comes from a Worship Roof Repair Fund which helps churches across the UK who are in urgent need of repair work.

Nigel Savage the treasurer at St Andrew’s Church said, “It is wonderful news that we are lucky enough to be receiving the government grant. The money is all our prayers answered and means we can now start to fix the worst affected part of the roof.

“In general Victorian roofs tend to last about 150 years and we are at the stage where the leaks are becoming increasingly worse. Now we have reached the £154,000 target, we can complete work on a third of the roof, with the remainder hoped to be fully repaired over the next 20 years.

“We will now start to do all the necessary reports before such major work is undertaken and we hope that repair work will start in April next year. However, if everything goes smoothly we may be able to start the work as early as the autumn.”

The government money has become available from a £55million fund which was announced in the Budget.  A £30million fund is being made available now and will be followed by a second round worth £25million. Applications for the second round of funding will open later in the year.

Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne said, “Churches and cathedrals are a unique part of our national heritage, and play a vital role in community life – we want to support them, and thanks to our long-term economic plan, we can.

“Whether it’s our country’s future or these important buildings, the sun is shining and we’re starting to fix the roof.”