£80k essential repairs at historic village church

The 700-year-old Church of St Mary the Virgin
The 700-year-old Church of St Mary the Virgin

Essential repairs to Ringmer Parish Church, a Grade I Listed building, are to begin soon.

It follows a thorough engineers’ inspection at St Mary the Virgin and a series of recommendations from the Church of England approved architect.

Starting with the refurbishment of the roof of the 16th century Lady Chapel, clay tiles will be salvaged from here to sensitively restore and replace broken tiles on the more visible parts of the main roof.

Further work will be undertaken to guttering around the church as well as specialist re-pointing to the flint walls. The face of the clock will also be re-gilded during this time.

The Rev Beth McCleave, Vicar of Ringmer, said: “We are fortunate that the parish church is in such excellent condition after 700 years.

“As guardians of the village’s cornerstone, we take our responsibilities seriously and the planned work will ensure it is kept water-tight and available for service and worship for the people of Ringmer for many generations to come.”

She continued: “A team of specialists has been engaged to ensure the work is completed to the highest standards but of course this type of work comes at a price and the estimated costs run to almost £80,000.

“Ringmer Parochial Church Council is in the fortunate position of having a significant reserve, as a result of two generous legacies, and the Friends of St Mary’s fund will also go towards covering elements of these expenses.

“Nonetheless, should residents and visitors be in a position to contribute any amount towards the costs, the PCC and churchwardens would be delighted to hear from you.”

If you are a UK tax-payer your gift-aided contribution can be increased by a further 25 per cent.

The PCC is also exploring ways in which a Friends group might operate in the future, not only to provide fund-raising opportunities but to support other church-based activities. To find out more contact Rosemary Colebourn, churchwarden, or Jonathan Franklin, treasurer. Visit www.ringmerchurch.org.uk