Raising Waldron’s church roof with an autumn countryside walk

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AN AUTUMN countryside walk in Waldron is being organised to raise money for the village’s parish church. Valerie Chidson who heads the Friends of Waldron Churches said: “All Saints is a Grade 1 listed building with some parts dating from the 12th century. The parish also has responsibility for a daughter church, St Bartholomew’s at Cross in Hand, built by a benefactor in the 1860s. In 2009 when All Saints’ had its last architectural inspection it was discovered that the belfry roof was in desperate need of repair. Two hard winters later the parish faced a major problem. It was running at a loss and there was virtually nothing in the reserves. The repairs were estimated at about £70,000.”

Then Rector, Revd David Charles and his PCC had no option but to appeal to the whole parish and The Friends of Waldron Churches was set up at the end of 2010 aiming to recruit not only members of the immediate congregation but also the wider community.

Coffee mornings alone were not going to make a dent in the required sum and imagination was needed. In the past 18 months the Friends have organised two street parties, a Jubilee weekend, held a Charity Golf Day, printed a village cook book, held several concerts, run a quiz night, held a long weekend of celebrations for last Christmas, had a sponsored walk with a second one lined up for September 29 and have plans for the next year. The total raised so far is £36,200 and it is hoped to start work this autumn on the necessary repairs to the belfry roof before winter sets in.

Valerie continued: “It has been a desperate battle during the deepest recession for decades, and with no help from English Heritage who told us the project is not big enough to interest them. Churchwardens, the congregation and the Friends of Waldron Churches are all pulling together and community spirit is closer and warmer than ever in the parish.”

The latest fundraiser is the second Walk for Waldron on September 29. Walkers can choose their distance. Registration and sponsorship forms can be found in The Stores at Waldron. Information from: valerie.chidson@bopenworld.com