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Head for heights needed as work starts on Bridgnorth church after lightning strike

By Tom Oakley | Bridgnorth | News | Published:

It's looks like something from a stunt film – but these daredevils have started work on Bridgnorth's historic main church.

Work starts on the church. Photo: Ralph Walker.

Workmen have been abseiling down the Church of St Mary Magdelene with the cross, which has been removed for closer examination.

It comes after an investigation revealed a lightning strike caused around £30,000 worth of damage.

The work on one of the town's most prominent landmarks began on Monday and scaffolding is expected to be erected around the church in the coming weeks.

Rector Simon Cawdell said: "The workmen went up and accessed the top of the dome via the hatch in the roof.

"They conducted a close exam of the lead cap and measured it up for the replacement and repairs that are required.

"They were able to take down the cross for closer examination and to see what extent it needs to be repaired or replaced and to apply the gilding before it is put back in position. We're expecting that process to take up to two to three weeks.

"People have been admired by the workers that are prepared to abseil at such a height. It's an incredibly skilled and specialist job."

Work starts on the church. Photo: Ralph Walker.

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These pictures were captured by Ralph Walker on Monday, who is a member of the Bridgnorth Photography Club, which meets on Thursdays at Low Town Community Hall from 7.30pm

Meanwhile, while work is taking place, the opportunity has arisen to regild the cross for the first time in 50 years.

And a campaign – which is "going reasonably well" – has been launched to fund the £3,700 needed for the project.

St Mary's is inviting donations from parishioners whose names will be recorded in the church memorial book on display inside.

He added: "We're getting well on towards our target but would love to receive more donations."

For more information visit the church or call Simon Cawdell on 01746 761573.

Tom Oakley

By Tom Oakley
Trainee Multi-Media Journalist

Shropshire Star reporter responsible for the covering Telford and Bridgnorth and the surrounding areas. Got a story? Email tom.oakley@shropshirestar.co.uk or call 01952 241457.

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