A church congregation have pulled off a huge fund-raising achievement after raising £20,000 in less than six months for a new roof.
Despite having a congregation of just 12 All Saint’s Church, in Barmston have raised more than enough money to have the lead roof replaced with Terne coated stainless steel.
The congregation was left facing the huge fund-raising hurdle after the church was targeted by lead thieves three times in the space of just two weeks last September.
Thieves caused thousands of pounds worth of damage to the roof and porch prompting the decision to have the lead completely replaced with less valuable stainless steel, while a new alarm system has also been fitted to the roof thanks to Ecclesiastical Insurance.
As well as securing a £3,000 grant from Yorkshire Historic Churches Trust, church warden Rosemary Swift sent out numerous letters appealing for donations.
Luckily she was able to draw on contacts of her husband John Swift, chairman of Barmston parish council, who has lived in the village his whole life.
And her pleas were heard by local residents, including the Marshall family who made a generous donation of £5,000 and the Young Farmers Club who made the church roof appeal their charity of the year.
Emmanuel Church also donated £1,500 to the appeal, but as this is now in excess of what was needed for the new roof the money will go towards restoring the church font, while any additional money will be spent on extending the roof alarm system to the inside of the church.
Mrs Swift told the Free Press that she cannot believe that they have managed to raise so much money in such a short space of time and has thanked everyone involved.
“I can’t believe it,” Mrs Swift said.
“We had a choice of raising £7,000 to have it repaired or £20,000 to strip the whole lot off and making us safe. Being a retired accountant I couldn’t see the point of paying £7,000 just to have it repaired instead of replaced, I could see the pounds getting bigger and bigger so we thought lets go for it and hope him up there likes Barmston Church which he obviously does,” she added.
To celebrate their achievement a thanksgiving service has been held at All Saints Church, led by the Rev Chris McCarthy and attended by the archdeacon of the East Riding the venerable David Butterfield and church trustee Rosalind Potter.
Around 80 people attended the church service and tea at the village hall afterwards.