Restoring Charminster's charm

by Michael Ford last modified 03 Jun, 2016 11:41 AM

Much-needed restoration at St Mary’s Charminster made possible by Dorset Historic Churches Trust

Restoring Charminster's charm

L-R: Nigel Thimbleby, DHCT; Mrs Jane House, Churchwarden; Rev Canon Janet Smith, Vicar; the Rt Revd Karen Gorham, Bishop of Sherborne; Simon Pomeroy, DHCT; Mr John Pearson, Churchwarden; Mrs Ursula Pomeroy, DHCT

Dorset Historic Churches Trust was delighted to present a cheque of £12,500 to St Mary’s church, awarded for vital repairs, maintenance and restoration work. The Vicar of St Mary’s, Revd Canon Janet Smith and the Rt Revd Karen Gorham, the Bishop of Sherborne, conducted a special Evensong. Attendees had the pleasure of listening to Bishop Karen preach.

St Mary’s, a Grade One listed church was flooded in 2014 when the River Cerne burst its banks, covering a large area of the churchyard with floodwater. Funding from Dorset Historic Churches Trust (DHCT) has gone principally to repairing the storm damage.

In a bid to make the church more resilient, and easier to recover from any future adverse weather, the Parochial Church Council decided to replace the Victorian woodblock flooring with stone paving. Whilst restoring the church floors the opportunity was then taken to install underfloor heating using an ‘eco-friendly’ air source heat pump to help reduce heating costs.

The road bridge adjacent to St Mary’s churchyard also underwent reconstruction at the expense of the local authority, to provide faster flow of water. This works, together with landscaping of the churchyard, was designed to reduce the chances of water overflowing the banks in the future.

Parishioners thanked the DHCT and the National Churches Trust (NCT) for the grants which importantly gave heart to the considerable fundraising needed for the restoration, providing a warm future for worshippers in the church for many years to come.

Simon Pomeroy, Chairman of DHCT, commented: "We are delighted to be able to award this grant to St Mary’s. The repair works which we help to fund are often desperately needed. We rely on fundraising activity and donations by our many supporters and especially the Friends of the Dorset Historic Churches Trust to make our work possible.

"We would like to say thank you to everyone who took part in our annual Ride+Stride fundraising event in 2015 and hope as many – if not more – people will join in the fun in September this year."

DHCT’s annual Ride+Stride event is the charity’s main source of fundraising. The event involves some 200 parish and church communities across the county and 2015’s grand total raised £84,000.

DHCT also produces a range of note cards featuring stained glass windows. All proceeds go towards the work of the Trust. These may be ordered from .

www.dhct.org.uk

www.rideandstrideuk.org

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