Celebrations as church roof is repaired at last

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Parishioners in Asfordby are celebrating after workmen finished repairing the roof of their church which has leaked for four years since thieves stripped it of tens of thousands of pounds of lead.

A fundraising campaign raised £35,000 for the work at the historic All Saints’ but an unforeseen infestation of Death Watch Beetle meant an extra £5,000 had to be found.

A mixture of grants and donations generated the additional money to help pay for a new beam to be installed.

Rev Sue Paterson, priest-in-charge at All Saints’, said: “It’s a huge relief to have the roof now watertight and fit for purpose.

“It has been such a distraction because various things haven’t been able to go ahead, such as coffee groups and after-school sessions. Having the buckets up and down the church hasn’t been aesthetically pleasing either.”

The roof of the 12th century church was damaged when thieves stripped tens of thousands of pounds of lead from it in May 2011. An insurance payout was limited to £5,000, because of a spate of similar lead thefts in Leicestershire.

Fundraising events were held in Asfordby to help pay for the repairs.

Rev Paterson said: “People have really rallied around. One of the good things about it all is the way the community has taken the project to its heart and backed their church.”

A celebratory roof restoration concert is being planned on February 27 at the church with a concert by clergy choir Octave and a buffet. Rev Paterson is pleased to see the work completed before she leaves the parish after Easter.

She said: “It will be a huge wrench to leave and I’ll miss the people. I’ve been here six years, four of which have been plagued by the leaking roof.”