Urgent Help Needed To Repair our Church Walls!
St Mary and St Peter’s Church stone boundary walls are crumbling.
First a section of about 5 meters of the eastern boundary wall collapsed; then a much larger section of the northern boundary wall collapsed and now, following a thorough survey of the remaining walls, we have found that part of the western roadside wall is bulging and is badly cracked. According to experts it too requires urgent attention to prevent further deterioration. This is Salcombe Regis’s equivalent of the “perfect storm”!
All of the church boundary walls are ancient, largely without foundations and have been added to and repaired over the centuries. The exceptional deluges we have experienced this year and last, were probably the last straw as unprecedented water pressure built up behind these ancient walls and caused them to crumble.
In c430BC Nehemiah managed, remarkably, to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem in a reported 57 days. Despite great technological progress in the millennia since then, the rebuilding of our walls is expected to take a little longer. The church and its churchyard are unquestionably part of the villages unique charm and beauty. We are merely custodians of this building for future generations. We must comply with Planning and Conservation issues, obtain appropriate Church faculties, shore up neighbour’s gardens and reinstate the damage caused. There are graves and tombs to avoid, plaques to restore and replace and a narrow public highway to keep open for the lower village. In short rebuilding is very complex and will be expensive.
Our aim is to sensitively rebuild and restore these walls to ensure they last for the next century or two and continue to enhance this most scenic valley.
While we are able to finance the rebuilding work from our reserves which have built up over recent years from the generosity of supporters of the Church, this will severely deplete our ability to maintain the Church in the future. Being the Spiritual and Social hub of the village, the PCC needs to ensure it is sufficiently financed in the future to continue in this vein. We therefore feel it is good custodianship of our Church to seek your help in dealing with this massive problem. The costs are simply too great for us to absorb.
We have decided to launch an appeal to raise £60,000 to repair/reinstate our walls and have already received tremendously generous support of over £25,000 towards this target. Whilst this an excellent start, there is still a missing £35,000 to find………….
If you would like to be part of this appeal which goes right to the heart of our village, donations can be made in one of the following ways.
- Envelopes containing Cash or Cheque can be
posted through either the PCC Treasurer’s (1 Sid Lane, Sidmouth. EX10 9AN)
or the Project Manager, Rob Speers (Sid Cottage, Sid Road, Sidmouth EX10
9AL) letter boxes. Please mark
“Wall Fund” and request a Gift Aid form if appropriate (downloadable here).
(Gift Aid will enable us to claim an additional 25% of your donation from the Government)
- Those banking via the internet can remit direct to Lloyds Bank Sidmouth Sort Code 30-94-36 Account number 01137441 in the name of Salcombe Regis PCC. Ref: “Wall Fund” and your name please. Again, Gift Aid forms can be provided by phoning Mike Newman (01395-513313).
Mike Newman, PCC treasurer.