Baldock church restoration nears completion

THE �750,000 restoration of an ancient church is expected to be finished in a few months after last year’s cold snap held up work.

Work began to restore the St Mary the Virgin Church, in Baldock, around two years ago and church rector Rev Andrew Holford is full of praise for the workmen who have worked tirelessly to restore the medieval chapel.

The skilled craftsmen, led by Barker Associates, were unable to work in December due to adverse weather conditions and Rev Holford expects that the finish date will be pushed back a month.

He said: “The snow and ice meant we lost a month so we might finish later.

“When it’s finished we will be able to get the bells ringing again. It will be a fantastic achievement.

“The workmen are supreme craftsmen and they are a joy to watch.

“You can tell by the way they work that they love what they do, and the restoration of ancient buildings is a dying craft.”

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The conservation work on St Mary the Virgin Church is taking place to repair deteriorating stonework high up on the tower and to replace the lead covering the spire.

Although some money has been raised through fundraising and an English Heritage Grant the church had to take out loans to the value of �150,000 to ensure that the restoration work can continue.

Rev Holford says the church will seek donations to repay the loan but thanks the community for their support so far.

“I and the parish council are extremely grateful to everyone who has made this extremely important work possible.

“Without the support of the town and community this wouldn’t have been possible.”