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CHRIST Church in Shaw is at risk of closure if money can’t be found to replace the 112-year-old oak shingles on the spire of the church.
A building inspection of the church in 2016 stressed the urgent need to replace the oak shingles on the spire that are rotted, loose and a health and safety hazard.
The Parochial Church Council (PCC) of Christ Church has been told that repairs will cost around £58,500. If the spire is not restored, the church faces the prospect of having to close because of the risk to the public from the shingles falling from the spire.
Built in 1905, the church was designed by architect Charles Edwin Ponting. “There is no other church like this one in the UK. It is completely unique,” said church warden Susan Evans.
“The oak shingles on the spire are the original shingles from 112 years ago. They have rotted over time, with some falling from the spire into the church yard. There is a real risk that someone could be injured if we don’t do something about it.
“If we are unable to do the repairs, we as a church will have to decide whether or not to close the church until it can be made safe.”
So far, the PCC has raised £41,000 through fundraising efforts and grants. With £17,500 still left to find, the church is asking the community to help make up the shortfall by sponsoring a shingle.
For the price of £2, locals can have their name written on a shingle that will be used to restore the spire to its former glory. Sponsorship of six oak shingles is also available for £10.
It is hoped that work can begin in the autumn.
Member of the PCC for Christ Church, Mike Booth said, “The work involves the complete removal of the existing shingles. The underlying structure is to be inspected and repaired, then treated with wood preservative.
“New oak shingles are to be installed, with the addition of lead soakers. The base of the spire has to be re-leaded on underlay.
“Two slate roof valleys need to be re-leaded and damaged cast iron rainwater goods need replacing. The work will be overseen by the church architect.”
Other efforts to raise money for the church spire include a cricket fun day on Saturday 9th September at the Beeches in Shaw. Teams of six are invited to enter, with the rules that at least two members of the team are female and that one person be under the age of 16. Entry costs £25.
For more information about how to sponsor a shingle or about the cricket fun day, please contact the church warden Susan Evans by email firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also make a donation by visiting the church’s Just Giving page www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/christ-church-shaw