A Christmas Bonus

by Gerry Lynch last modified 18 Dec, 2017 01:59 PM

Historic Wiltshire Church gets early Christmas present from National Churches Trust

A Wiltshire church has received an early Christmas present of £20,000 from the National Churches Trust.

St Andrew’s in Donhead St Andrew will received the money from a National Churches Trust Repair Grant to help fund urgent repairs to fix its badly leaking roof.  

The church is one of 93 churches and chapels in England, Wales and Scotland set to benefit from rescue funding of £680,230 from the Trust.

Huw Edwards, broadcaster and journalist and Vice-President of the National Churches Trust said, “At the heart of communities in cities, towns and villages, churches are a treasure trove of architecture, history and faith.

“I’m delighted that St Andrew, Donhead St Andrew, is to be saved for the future with the help of a £20,000 National Churches Trust Repair Grant.

“This will help ensure that this church, rich in architectural details and packed with local history, remains open and at the service of local people. It is much loved building that is a vital asset to the village and the repair project will bring the church back to a state of good repair and enhance this important community space.”

Michael Hockney, Chairman of the Friends of St Andrew’s Church, said, “The Parochial Church Council and congregation of St Andrew’s Church and indeed the whole village community of Donhead St Andrew are so grateful to the National Churches Trust for its generous grant which will help ensure that the problems with the fabric of St Andrew’s Church can be addressed in the very near future and the risk of further serious damage avoided.

“Work will begin early in 2018.  We are so excited at the prospect of the church re-opening later in 2018 as an inspirational place of continuing prayer and worship and as the centre of village community activities.”

The project will significantly improve the condition of the church by dealing with water penetration from the leaking roof and dealing with the causes of damp in the walls and in the roof insulation. The unsightly damp and stained walls with flaking plaster will also be dealt with. As a result, the church will be watertight, avoiding further deterioration in the future and any additional major expenditure.

Donhead St Andrew, part of the Benefice of St Bartholomew in Chalke Deanery, is a parish of steep hills, streams, woodland, pasture and high chalk downs with sudden wonderful views. There is no real village centre so the foci for the community are the church and the pub.

The parish church, dedicated to St Andrew, is situated in the valley beside the river Nadder. There has been a church on this site serving as a centre for Christian worship for at least a thousand years. It is believed that the first church may have been built soon after the founding of Shaftesbury Abbey in about 875 AD. The tall narrow arch leading from the chancel to the vestry is Saxon work from about the 9th or 10th century. The present church is 13th century though much altered in the 19th century and is built of the local green sandstone.

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