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Fit for the Future

by Michael Ford last modified 31 Jan, 2020 12:05 PM

A former MP for Salisbury has been recruited to the campaign to save the roof of Amesbury Abbey.

Robert Key has been working with the Wiltshire Abbey on a new 3-part appeal that won't just save a roof in danger of collapse, but will aim to acheive a net carbon footprint.

The appeal seeks to raise £1,000,000 by 2025. The funds will be used in 3 stages: for urgent repairs to the roof in 2020; for structural and other improvements to the fabric of the church, as set out in the Parish ‘Fit for the Future’ document; and to establish an energy rating system and new infrastructure to achieve a net zero carbon target for all the church-owned buildings in Amesbury by 2045.

Robert said:

"For nearly 40 years I have established a happy relationship with Amesbury, with personal friends and with the many schools, businesses and government agencies in the parish. Years ago I realised that the parish church has been struggling to make itself heard in a very noisy place.

"The church itself is of national importance architecturally and historically and its Saxon and Plantagenet history is largely neglected. The burial place of the only Queen of England without a known or marked grave within a great Abbey that has disappeared without trace should be romantic reason enough for the fame that sadly is not burning brightly there.

"St Mary and St Melor is the chief institution and building of the town of Amesbury and I know how hard a small band of Christians are trying to make it the beating heart of the community, as it has been since Saxon times.

"My only motive for getting involved in this is to share my experience of fundraising and project organisation with a church community that deserves to be in a better place. I met the 2 churchwardens and we hatched a plan for an exciting new 3-part appeal for £1m.

"In fact they have a very good development plan in their 'Fit for the Future' project - but it has just got stuck.

"On Sunday I talked to the Dean of the Cathedral and he has authorised us to talk to Jane Morgan, his Head of Development, for advice on fundraising. We will share data where appropriate and discuss how we might achieve our aims."

Bishop Nicholas will also be visiting the Abbey to lead their worship on Sunday February 9th.

You can read more on the Abbey's Appeal plans here.

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