Freeby church is back to its former glory following 12-year restoration project

St Mary's Church, Freeby
St Mary's Church, Freeby
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Villagers will once again be able to use their church, following a 12-year renovation project.

St Mary’s Church in Freeby fell into disrepair and was closed to the public when it was deemed no longer safe for community use.

A lengthy project including significant repairs got under way, and on Friday there will be a celebration to mark its opening.

Over the course of the renovation – carried out by The Churches Conservation Trust in partnership with Historic England – structual repairs have been carried out, along with re-roofing, re-glazing, repointing and the installation of a lighting scheme.

A spokeswoman for The Churches Conservation Trust, which protects historic churches at risk, said: “The completion of the conservation work means that the building can return to being an asset for the community and a great place to visit.

“However, it is not only the local community who will benefit from the repairs to the building. The church is home to a maternity roost for Natterer’s bats and therefore the conservation work has had to take these precious creatures into consideration. This rare bat can be recognised by its white underside.”

Members of the public are invited to go along to the church’s celebration event on Friday, between 1pm and 3pm, to find out more about the bats and the restoration project.

Volunteers from Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust will be on hand to explain more about the bats and what having bats in churches mean for the buildings and local ecology.

Parking is at Freeby Village Hall, where light refreshments will be served. For further information call 07733 108553.