Which top cartoonist is backing £750,000 church campaign?
PUBLISHED: 05:30 03 February 2020 | UPDATED: 08:34 04 February 2020
Church wardens & East Bergholt PCC
One of Britain's top cartoonists has donated an image towards a £750,000 fundraising campaign for a historic Grade 1 listed Suffolk church.
Matthew 'Matt' Pritchard has joined actor and comic Griff Rhys Jones in lending support to the bid to replace the roof at St Mary's church in East Bergholt.
Matt, who works for the Daily Telegraph, drew an image of a parishioner huddled on a church pew beneath a leaky roof, after the fundraisers contacted him knowing many parishioners were fans of his.
The plan is to reproduce the image on items such as tea towels and mugs that can be sold to help the campaign.
Canon Stephne van der Toorn, the rector of East Bergholt and Brantham churches, said: "Matt has been amazing. We told him what we were thinking of as an image and he gave it to us to reproduce as we saw fit and with his blessing.
"We also approached Griff Rhys Jones as he lives in Suffolk and is someone who knows the importance of buildings such as this, he has also been very supportive.
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"We just thought 'if we don't ask, we don't get' and we are going to need all the help we can get as the campaign is going to be a mammoth undertaking."
St Mary's dates back in parts to the 14th century. The current roof, which was hit by lead thieves in 2013, is more than 200 years old and is leaking.
Canon Stephne said because such a large part of the roof needs replacing, with expensive scaffolding required, it made more sense to replace it in its entirety.
Village businesses and groups are being invited to a meeting at the church at 7pm on Thursday, February 13 to discuss ways of fundraising.
"We will be applying for grants and matchfunding wherever we can but there is an awful lot of work to be done to raise the money," Canon Stephne said.
"It is going to have to be a community effort because it is only a small congregation here and we can't bear the cost of it alone."