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News Archive > General > Church’s community plea for urgent roof restoration

Church’s community plea for urgent roof restoration

By Jacob Double 16th January 2021

Church’s community plea for urgent roof restoration
St Bartholomew’s Church in Lostwithiel has launched a fundraising appeal to carry out vital repairs on its roof

A church near Bodmin is appealing for residents to get behind a fundraiser to carry out urgent repairs to its tower.

Committee members at St Bartholomew’s, which was first built sometime in the 13th century, say that part of the church roof is “crumbling” with water pouring in every time it rains.

Vital repairs, needed as a matter of “urgency”, are said to cost in the region of £120,000. They are seeking donations from generous members of the public with the hope of raising up to £60,000, which can then be match funded through grants from organisations such as the Historic Churches Fund to make up the shortfall. But with the winter weather causing further damage, they are asking people to dig deep and help back the campaign quickly as they cannot make the applications until they hit £60k target.

Tabitha Stafford, one of the church council members, told the Voice: “We started a launch group, the business group are on board and we are also talking to the town council who own the clock in the tower - because without the tower, there is no clock.

“We have had a bequest and we have raised some so we have about £10,000 so far, but it’s not that much. We can’t claim grant money retrospectively so raising the £60,000 is urgent. £60,000 is an awful lot of money when everyone’s in lockdown and nobody has the money to spend.”

Fundraisers had planned to try and boost the coffers but, as with everything, the virus makes many of these kind of events difficult. Tabitha added: “I am hoping to get buckets in all of the shops in Lostwithiel so people can donate there too, and there is also the link online.

“We are hoping to have a recital, one of my friends is going to do a parachute jump for it too. We have got so many thing in the pipeline but we are limited on what we can do at the moment.”

The earliest part of the church is the tower which dates from the 13th century. The spire was added in the early 14th century, and the rest of the church dates from the later 14th century.

The church was restored in 1878 and 1879 by a Lostwithiel firm of builders, Messrs Phelp and Brown. The exterior of the building was renovated, plaster ceiling removed and the interior was stripped of “pew monstrosities.”

The restoration cost £1,200 (equivalent to £122,900 in 2019), and the church was reopened
on 29 May 1879 with a service by Archdeacon Hobhouse

By Jacob Double 16th January 2021

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