Towering response to Baldock church appeal

PARISHIONERS and friends of a Baldock church are celebrating after raising �366,000 in a year for vital repairs A year ago work started on trying to raise the money to restore the tower at St Mary s Church that was in a poor condition. Not only has the fu

PARISHIONERS and friends of a Baldock church are celebrating after raising �366,000 in a year for vital repairs

A year ago work started on trying to raise the money to restore the tower at St Mary's Church that was in a poor condition.

Not only has the full amount been raised in a year but the challenge is now on to raise an additional �40,000 for the re-leading of the steeple and the replacement of the clock faces.

"This is great news and has been a great challenge," said the Rev Andrew Holford, rector of St Mary's.

"On behalf of the friends of St Mary's and the church council I wish to thank the people of Baldock very much for their huge support in enabling us to raise �366,000 over the last year in order to restore the church tower.

"I would also like to thank the substantial number of people from outside the town who have also been generous in their support.

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"This is a truly amazing achievement. I know I have said it before, but I will say it again, this time last year we had under �50,000. It is something to shout from the roof tops, or indeed the roof of the town."

The Rev Holford added: "We have been so delighted with the support we have received that we have undertaken the tough but necessary decision to extend our campaign to allow us to carry out additional, very necessary repairs re-leading the steeple and replacing the clock faces.

"Discussions with experts have convinced us that patching up existing damage to these areas will cost us, and the town, dearly in the long run.

"To leave the spire and concentrate only on the tower would incur additional cost in the region of �40,000.

"We have been so well supported by the town and the local community in the last year that we feel confident this is the right decision."

The church is now putting together plans to find the extra money and is asking the public for any ideas or how the town can support the push for more.

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