Government grant to help church repair damage caused by lead thieves

National Heritage Memorial Fund

National Heritage Memorial Fund - Credit: Archant

Urgent roof repairs can finally get under way at a church in Bluntisham after parishioners received a grant for £100,000.

Officials at St Mary’s Church Bluntisham-cum-Earith successfully applied for the grant from the Government, and the money will allow them to repair the roof, guttering and drains.

The first stage of the project is to reroof the south aisle which, after the theft of lead in 2014, still has a temporary covering and needs to be made waterproof before winter. Downpipes, drains and soakaways will also be replaced and the exterior ground level lowered to dry out the floor inside and prevent further damp entering.

Cecily Marshall, music minister at St Mary’s, said: “The church building has already proved to be a successful venue for concerts; we hope this work will be the first step in creating a space that can be used by the whole community for events and activities. Of course we will need to raise further funds for this.”

It is thought by parishioners that the church was the inspiration for Dorothy L Sayers’ novel ‘The Nine Tailors’ featuring her detective Lord Peter Wimsey. Her father Rev Sayers was rector at the church in the early 1900s.

The grant money is part of a wider funding package of £22.9million to 401 historic places of worship across the UK, money set aside by the government in December 2014.

The Fund is administered by the National Heritage Memorial Fund on behalf of the Department for Culture Media and Sport.