THE CRUMBLING roof of an historic church near Henley is set to be repaired thanks to lottery funding.
St Mary the Virgin Church in Ullenhall has received a £142,000 boost from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
The cash will be used to help fix the broken roof on the 140-year-old church and will also go towards repairing the clock, which has not worked for more than 20 years, and the construction of a kitchen and toilet block in the grade II-listed building.
The total cost of the project is estimated to be in the region of £220,000 with fund-raising drives having been under way for some time.
And to help raise the rest of the money, parishioners are being asked to sponsor a tile, which will then form part of the new roof.
Vicar of St Mary’s, John Ganjavi, said: ” We are both delighted and grateful to the Heritage Lottery Fund for supporting our project.
“Like most old buildings, the fabric of our church needs constant attention but the roof area has been a major concern with many of the tiles already damaged or having fallen off.
“Chunks of masonry were also starting to crumble, which represented a real danger to visitors as well as exposing the rest of the church to the elements.”
Work on the project has already began and is expected to be complete by the end of the year with church services currently being held in Ullenhall old chapel.
Mr Ganjavi added: “We are a small community and although we have been working hard to raise funds, we would not have been able to start the project for some time without the help and support of the Heritage Lottery Fund, and any significant delays would have put the future of our lovely church into question.
“Once all the work is completed we will be able to make much more use of the building and the church can once again resume its position at the centre of village life.”
To sponsor a roof tile or to get involved in fund-raising call John Ganjavi on 01564 792570.
* St Gregory’s church in Tredington marks Advent with a concert ‘Knowing the Hope’ on Friday December 4.
The Amici choir, led by choirmaster Kerry Beaumont, will be performing choral music starting at 7.30pm.
Tickets, priced £10, on the door or by in advance by calling 01608 682282.