Restoration work on 12th century Stotfold church
- Credit: Archant
A church which dates back to the 12th century has undergone restoration work as part of a community fundraising programme.
St Mary’s Church – the oldest building in Stotfold – has been fitted with a replacement north door and had surrounding stonework restored.
The project has been funded by the Friends of St Mary’s Church group, which formed in 1999 following a report by the Parochial Church Council which said the church needed urgent repair work totalling £250,000.
Over the past 15 years the friends have raised more than £43,000 which has contributed to the restoration of the tower, the regilding of the clock face, repairing the eight bell clappers and upgrading the sound system in the church.
The church itself dates back to 1150 AD and predates any other building in Stotfold by 400-500 years, having borne witness to such events as the great plague, the peasants’ revolt, the industrial revolution and two world wars.
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Group chairman Roger Billson said: “It was quite exciting to use the new door for the first time for a service this morning (Wednesday) and it is part of a major overhaul of the church in terms of refurbishment over the next few years.
“A lot of people are interested in the church as a historic building so it is not just church-goers in our Friends of St Mary’s group. Many are determined to restore the church for future generations of Stotfold to use.
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“The church used to be in the middle of the village, but it is now on the fringes due to the way in which Stotfold has evolved over the years. But we have members in Yorkshire and as far afield as New Zealand, the United States and Canada, which is amazing really.”
Fundraising events put on by the friends have included a monthly whist drive held in the church hall, an annual quiz, coffee mornings and a car boot, jumble and table top sale. These events have been added to the church calendar which already includes scarecrow, Christmas tree and flower festivals.
To find out more about St Mary’s Church visit www.stotfoldchurch.org.uk or ring Mr Billson on 01462 730103.