AN AMESBURY church is to receive a £30,000 funding boost to help repair its roof.

The Grade I listed St Mary and St Melor church was in a "desperate situation" back in January, with the roof and a high risk of collapse and requiring urgent repair work.

The £30k, from the National Churches Trust Cornerstone Grant, will help fund roof and masonry repairs, making the church watertight and preserving its historic fabric.

Prolonged water ingress through the defective roof covering has had an accumulative effect in not only damaging finishes through water staining, but in encouraging accelerated deathwatch beetle decay in principal structural timbers and decorative elements.

The project comprises roof, structural and masonry repairs to prevent water ingress.

Salisbury Journal:

Fr Darren A’Court, Priest-in-Charge at St Mary and St Melor’s said: “I am thankful and delighted that the National Churches Trust has been able to help us with a generous grant towards the overall cost of our roof repair project.”

Broadcaster and journalist Huw Edwards, Vice President of The National Churches Trust, said: “The UK's historic churches and chapels are a vital part of our national heritage and have done so much to support local people during the COVID -19 lockdown. But to survive, many need to carry out urgent repairs and install modern facilities. The cost of this work is far beyond what most congregations can pay for themselves.”

“So I’m delighted that St Mary and St Melor church is being helped with a £30,000 National Churches Trust Cornerstone Grant. The work on the roof and masonry repairs will help secure the future of this historic building, which is of national significance.”

Salisbury Journal:

A total of 59 churches and chapels in England, Wales and Northern Ireland will benefit from the latest grants from the National Churches Trust, the charity supporting the UK’s church buildings.

Contractors discovered a large bees nest during earlier repair work, which halted work for two days while the nest was removed by a local bee keeper.

One of the replacement carvings on the interior of the church will now be a bee to commemorate the nest.

Once the lead was removed from the roof, it was also discovered that there had been a second roof structure (19th Century) added over the first (15th Century), and the original 15thC roof was still intact.