Huge fundraising campaign launched to repair unsafe spire at Worksop church

A huge fundraising mission has been launched to repair a 150-year-old spire at a Worksop church after it was declared unsafe.

By Kirsty Hamilton
Friday, 3rd September 2021, 8:00 am

A total of £167,500 is needed to fund urgent repairs at St John's Church, in Overend Road.

Those behind the project are applying for grants to fund the work, but most require half of the funds to have already been raised and so the fundraising committee are appealing to members of the congregation and the public for help.

The spire has become damaged after years of weather erosion and deterioration of mortar joints, and as more rainwater enters the cracks further damage will be caused .

St John's Church are fundraising to save the church spire, picture includes Sue Dawson, John Hodgkins, Anne Shillitto and Rev Tim Stanford

Stonework needs repairing and in some cases replacing, and due to its Grade II listing and strict repair regulations, the church must employ scaffolders, architects, steeplejack and skilled stonemasons all accredited by the Church of England.

The estimated cost of the work is £167,500 and will take around six months to complete, and although the team are applying for grants, most applications require the church to already have up to 50 per cent of the funds required.

A Spire Funding Committee spokesman said: “Majority of the funds will be raised from the congregation and generosity of the public.

“Whatever the cost, with lots of prayers and strong belief to sustain us we truly believe that this will be achieved with the help of those we serve.”

Rev Tim Stanford, Sue Dawson, Anne Shillitto and John Hodgkins besides the church spire display

The church already costs £50,000 a year to run and that is mainly thanks to generous donations, but without more donations to fix the spire the church will become too dangerous.

Committee member Sue Dawson said: “One of the sad things for us is that we are spending all of this money just to get it back to how it was before.

“Although lots of people in our parish don't attend our church, when I talk to them they still say my church.

“Our church is a piece of history that is central to community life.”

Reverend Tim Stanford said: “We want to explore how we can use this church better for the community and continue to have a positive impact.

“My prayer for St John’s is that our building will continue to constructively serve our local Parish community in the future.”

A special launch service of the Spire Repair Fund with displays and further information on Sunday, September 5 at 10.30am.

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