Monday, 28th July 2014

Churchgoers raise £35,000 towards saving historic building.

A congregation has helped to raise nearly £35,000 towards an appeal by an historic church in Shropshire to replace its 200-year-old floor before it becomes unsafe.

The bid to raise about £200,000 for St Mary Magdalene Church in Bridgnorth was launched more than a year ago.

And rector, the Reverend Simon Cawdell, said nearly £34,786 had been raised for the church, which was designed by engineer Thomas Telford.

He said they were not sure of the exact amount they would need but were waiting for architects’ costings.

Mr Cawdell said: “We will have various options as to how we need to be going. We are looking towards £200,000.

“There is quite a way to go. We are thrilled with the amount raised so far. It’s clearly happened as a result of a huge amount of hard work on behalf of a lot of people.”

The floor has got a problems with attacks by beetles and various forms of rot.

Mr Cawdell said: “It’s quite significantly deteriorating.”

He said they had already had to repair parts of it temporarily where it was becoming close to collapse.

He said the money had been raised so far through events and donations.

These have included a concert by counter tenor Robin Blaze and an anonymous donation of £1,500 by someone who left the case on Mr Cawdell’s doorstep.

Choral concerts have also been held.

But he said once they had more formal plans they would be applying to various organisations for grant funding.

The existing timber floor is the original Thomas Telford floor and is more than 200 years old.

It has reached the end of its life and needs to be replaced before it becomes unsafe.

The new, flat solid floor would allow the church to use its building for community-based functions.

There is no set date yet when the work would be carried out. St Mary Magdalene was Thomas Telford’s first church and was built in 1794 next to the castle ruin.