£160k church roof appeal launched

Winterton ChurchAN inspection has revealed major repairs costing in the region of £160k are needed to the roof and tower of the parish church within the next two years - and another £300k of work is needed within five.

The report by conservation architect Nicholas Warns praised efforts of the parochial church council in recent years to maintain the building, including repairs to the top of the tower.

But he said: “There are some very costly repairs needed now and in the near future. Flints are falling from the tower wall and breaking the tiles on the nave roof and the nave, chancel and porch roof tiles are all decaying.”

The PCC is seeking help from the public to raise the cash needed to replace the roof on the Grade I listed building and preserve it for the future.

Roy Burrows, who took over as church fabric officer this year, said immediate repairs listed in the report were in hand. “We’re very fortunate that we’ve got a combination of reserves and donations that will cover that.”

But it would empty the coffers as far as the work on the roof and tower was concerned. “The estimate for the roof is £160,000 and that’s a huge target to have to meet.”

He said the church would be applying for grants from organisations that had supported it before, including the National Lottery and Historic England. But that would only raise part of the money and it would need contributions from the public.

A sponsor a tile campaign is in the pipeline. “All the tiles will be numbered and anyone who donates will be recorded on a roll of benefactors that will be kept in perpetuity,” said Roy.

And a push to host more community events could help to raise more cash. A concert by the Chorus of St Cecilia later this month is the first of what is hoped will be many similar occasions.

“We want to use the church a lot more for community activities,” he explained. “It is actually part of what the church is there for. The church as a physical building should really be at the heart of the community. We don’t want to spend that amount of money on a building just for people to look at it.”

The parochial church council is hoping people who have connections with the village, relatives buried in the churchyard or even visitors with happy memories of holidays here, will add their support.

The annual gift day, which has helped to boost reserves in the past and maintain the church is on August 27 this year.

In his report Mr Warns said ideally the roof should all be replaced now, but it was more likely a phased approach would be needed, with the east side of the tower, nave roof and buttresses first on the list.

He estimated stripping and relaying the nave roof with new gullies and drains, and repairing the tower east wall as well as restoring the Charles I royal arms would be in the region of £160,000.

Further down the line he said the PCC would have to find another £250,000 to repair the rest of the tower walls, £40,000 to strip and replace the chancel roof and parapet and £20,000 if more new drains are installed.

The architect, who described the church as spectacular and furnished delightfully in the High Anglican style, advised: “The PCC will have to develop a programme of events and uses which attract a variety of people to the church, in addition to church services, in order to justify the expense of the major repairs to grant awarding authorities.

"This increased use will also justify the installation of a new kitchen and WCs, which could fit into the base of the tower.”

Anyone who wants to support the appeal online can donate through, which has been set up recently.

Roy said: "Of course we are still happy to receive cheques or cash donations, either at the church or via the churchwardens.