Banbury’s MP Victoria Prentis has called on the public to support the St Mary’s Church Roof Appeal.
Mrs Prentis visited the church last week and was shown the critical condition of the church roof by churchwarden Camilla Finlay and associate minister Rev Jeff West.
A project to repair the church roof received a £100,000 Listed Places of Worship Roof Repair Grant, but it was discovered the timber roof structure was riddled with deep decay and dry rot.
The church roof was at risk of collapse and it means the funds already raised are not enough. The church organ has also been dismantled and moved for its protection.
Mrs Prentis said: “St Mary’s Church is the iconic building in Banbury, and a huge part of the town’s history. This is a moment of crisis and I hope that the town will pull together to help the church with it.
“With costs mounting every week, including scaffolding costs of over £1,000 a week, the eventual end cost of the project is unclear. It is vital as much money is raised as possible before the beginning of June, to ensure the roof coverings and organ can be reinstated this summer.”
Mrs Finlay added an emergency appeal had been launched for an additional £60,000 to complete the essential work to stabilise the roof structure and protect the organ.
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