Shropshire parishioners fight to save 13th century church's roof
Parishioners at a 13th Century Shropshire church have vowed to keep going after bad weather damaged their roof.
St Milburga’s Church in Beckbury, near Shifnal, needs £10,000 for repairs and is turning to the community for help to fund the work.
Community members said that the church was beginning to show its age and that there were already efforts going on to fix issues with the roof.
But heavy wind and rain has suddenly caused even more damage to the historic listed building and has left those who still use it the listed building to pick up the pieces.
Activities to raise the funds currently include a Christmas fair selling a variety of items.
The event will take place on November 16 and will also include games and activities.
David Tooth, of Beckbury, said: “We’ve got to replace the roof which is going to take about £10,000.
“The church dates to the 13th Century and it’s showing its age, and the rainy weather has battered a hole in the roof.
“It’s disturbed a lot of tiles on the roof. The ladies of the village heard about this and they’re doing a Christmas fair to help raise money. The more people know about it, the more they will help.”
Mr Tooth said the Christmas fair would include a host of attractions.
He said: “We’re trying to raise money by holding a Christmas fair in the hall on November 16, from 10.30am to 3pm.
“We’ve got all sorts of activities; bric-a-brac, Christmas games, a tombola, you name it.”
He said the community had been surprised by the sudden damage.
“There was a leak through the roof to the alter – we had a wedding the next day.
“We had the money in the kitty to repair part of the roof, but it’s not a very quick job to do, particularly because we had to get permission from the diocese.
“We’re doing our best not to cancel events. That’s the last thing we want to worry about.”
Low numbers of parishioners and people’s opinion of the church means fundraising can be difficult, Mr Tooth added.
“Everybody thinks the church is rich, but that is just not true,” he said.
“Every church has to raise its own money.
“St Milburga’s Church is one of the best churches around here. It’s a nice building and it’s nice inside.
“The weddings we have are beautiful.”
The Christmas fair will be the main fundraising event this side of Christmas.
Mr Tooth says they will increase their efforts into in the new year and into spring.
“We’ve got the Christmas fair, but we can’t physically get anything in before Christmas,” he said. “It wouldn’t be good for a church to start pushing for funds this side of Christmas.
“We’ll look into spring, but we will get the roof temporarily repaired until Christmas, presuming we have a good weekend. We will then start again next year. It’s all we can do.”