Woodbridge: Bid to restore St Mary’s Church continues apace - but cost of project likely to increase to £200,000

Members from the Friends of St Mary's Woodbridge have reflected on a succesful first year

Members from the Friends of St Mary's Woodbridge have reflected on a succesful first year

A BID to restore a historic church is continuing apace - but those behind the project have warned its cost is likely to increase by more than £60,000.

The Friends of St Mary’s Woodbridge have raised £12,500 since forming in January 2012.

The group is 80 members strong and has organised a number of successful events in the last 12 months, including a quiz night, an autumn prom and a series of historical talks.

A recent AGM updated people on the progress made to date and Reverend Canon Kevan McCormack thanked everyone for their continued efforts.

But he also warned that the original estimate for the project - £136,000 - was likely to be closer to £200,000 by the time work on the church roof, stained glass windows and stonework was complete.

“It’s just frightening,” he said. “But St Mary’s plays an important role in the life of our community and we are very grateful to the Friends for putting a focus on fundraising for the building – and reaching out to the wider community which use the church for all kinds of events.”

He added that a working group has now been set up that will help to identify church restoration priorities for the future.

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Phase one of the church repairs - which included restoring its crumbling tower – was completed last year.

The Friends of St Mary’s is run by a committee, has its own bank account and is now recognised as a charity for tax purposes.

A number of events are planned for this year, including a wine and cheese evening on May 10, a summer party on July 27 and a children’s art competition in September.

Details of all activities, as well as details of how to become a “friend” and/or donate, can be found at www.friends.stmaryswoodbridge.org.