Prayers answered as church gets £150k repairs grant

The St Mary Magdalene Church in Lyminster has been granted a �150,000 cash boost for repair works
The St Mary Magdalene Church in Lyminster has been granted a �150,000 cash boost for repair works

A church that has been part of the fabric of Lyminster for more than a millennium will be getting a major cash boost.

St Mary Magdalene Church in The Paddock will receive more than £150,000 in Heritage Lottery funding in order to carry out essential repair work.

We want to preserve this beautiful and historic building for many generations to come

Reverend Thomas Robson

Reverend Thomas Robson said: “We’re very grateful for the financial support of the Heritage fund and that of parishioners and local people. We want to preserve this beautiful and historic building for many generations to come.

“Not only is the building of significant historic interest, it is the home of a living community of Christians who are the inheritors of nearly a thousand years of prayer and worship.”

The church is a Grade I listed building, parts of which date back to the time of the Saxons. During routine maintenance checks some major issues were identified with the roof, beams and south wall.

After three previous funding bids over the years, church warden David Farrer-Brown, 68, spearheaded the latest effort and was ‘delighted’ it was fourth time lucky.

He said: “A lot of people have connections to the church, whether it is through being married there, children being christened there or parents being buried in the churchyard, so it is buried in the fabric of the community even though we don’t get thousands of people coming every Sunday.”

According to the church’s website, the present walls of the church date back to 1040. There is believed to have been a Saxon Benedictine nunnery on the site, dating back to at least a hundred years before the Norman conquest.

Since funding was awarded in March last year, an architect has been recruited to draw up plans for the restoration and specialist builders have been approached.

Mr Farrer-Brown said the church is likely to close at the end of May as work begins, and should reopen before Christmas. Discussions are underway about where to relocate parishioners.

The church is putting £60,000 towards the project, and is looking for donations to rebuild its reserves. On Saturday, April 29 between 1.30pm and 4.30pm the church will have an open day to show what repairs are required and for people to donate.

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