Church launches appeal for new roof

By Roddy AshworthAN appeal has been launched to raise thousands of pounds to help restore part of one of a town's most historic churches.The ceiling of the two-storey south aisle at St Peter's Church in Colchester is in such a parlous state that congregations are no longer able to use that area of the building.

By Roddy Ashworth

AN appeal has been launched to raise thousands of pounds to help restore part of one of a town's most historic churches.

The ceiling of the two-storey south aisle at St Peter's Church in Colchester is in such a parlous state that congregations are no longer able to use that area of the building.

Water in the roof has damaged the ceiling of the North Hill church, which was plastered in the 17th Century, leaving it cracked and in danger of collapse.


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Now both the roof and ceiling need replacing at cost of about £200,000, although English Heritage has indicated it will pay 75% of the bill.

That means the church needs to raise up to £50,000 itself and is hoping other grant bodies, businesses and individuals will help.

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Ken Cooke, a former Mayor of Colchester who is also a regular worshipper at the church, has also come up with an idea in which people sponsor tiles.

For £5, a tile can be named after them and a corresponding message placed in a “time capsule” that will be placed in the new church roof. “It will be a permanent memorial for people who buy the tiles,” said Mr Cooke.

There will also be a day of prayer giving and fundraising at Lion's Walk in Colchester on April 3 for the church.

St Peter's Church is Colchester's official civic church - used by both the council and the Army - and is one of the few remaining town centre churches still open for ceremonies.

A place of worship at the site is recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086, when two priests ministered there. Nothing remains of the original building, but a doorway on the current church dates back to the late 13th Century.

roddy.ashworth@eadt.co.uk

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