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Appeal launched for church repairs

PUBLISHED: 11:17 26 April 2008 | UPDATED: 20:15 05 July 2010

IT is one of the most striking churches in East Anglia and now people are being asked to dig deep to help raised hundreds of thousands of pounds to carry out vital repairs.

IT is one of the most striking churches in East Anglia and now people are being asked to dig deep to help raised hundreds of thousands of pounds to carry out vital repairs.

Custodians of the Holy Trinity Church, in Blythburgh - also known as the cathedral of the marshes - are appealing to the region's wider population to help repair the leaking south aisle roof and carry out restoration work on the building's walls.

With a population of just 200, the people of the north Suffolk village of Blythburgh need support from further afield to protect the future of their beautiful church.

A spokesman for the church said: “New challenges face the church today, financially too great for the church community to face alone. As custodian of this remarkable building, we are asking for support in ensuring its future.

“Serious deterioration to the fabric of this magnificent building means that £300,000 is needed to re-roof the south aisle, which is now leaking, and to carry out other repairs such as re-pointing the deteriorating walls.

“The first stage of the work will be the repairs of the south aisle roof and we will continue with the other necessary work as funds become available.”

Scaffolding has already gone up at the church, which has already made in the region of £60,000 to get the project under way, and church leaders will also seek grants from various trusts to help meet its target.

It is important for the church to raise the remaining cash through the appeal to avoid having to take out a loan, which would have to be repaid with interest.

Blythburgh has a long history of Christianity and it is believed there has been a church on the present site since 630. Canons from Essex founded Blythburgh Priory in 1130 and in 1412 Henry IV granted the right to build the present church.

In 1848, the church was in such a dilapidated state that it was closed for safety reasons, but it re-opened in 1884 following a major restoration programme.

In more recent years, restoration projects have seen treatment for death-watch beetle and repair work to the clerestory windows and the nave roof.

Earlier this month, the church was targeted by thieves, who broke in through a window and stole valuable furniture, including a 600-year-old chest table.

More information and a donation form can be found at www.holytrinityblythburgh.org.uk. Donations can be sent to The treasurer, Holy Trinity Church, c/o Wolsey House, Chapel Road, Blythburgh, IP19 9LW.

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