Repairs for church hit by lead thieves

May 29 2019
Repairs for church hit by lead thieves

WORK is about to start to repair the roof of Old Sodbury church, months after the lead was stolen.

Last October the church council was just getting ready to launch an appeal to raise funds to pay for much needed work to the church tower when the theft happened, leaving it with an even larger bill.

After the theft was reported in the Voice, there was a huge response from local people. Around £90,000 has been raised by way of individual donations from villagers and well-wishers, grants from Hanson and the Allchurches Trust, and large private donations.

It was members of the church community who organised the fundraising events, launched appeals, and put in grant applications.

Canon David Bowers said: “Church members are delighted that work on the roofs will start in mid June, which will overcome the draughts and noise of the temporary roof covering flapping in high winds during services, weddings and on other special occasions.

The work to the stonework to the tower will start in mid August. An alarm will also be fitted to both sides of the roof, which will be monitored to overcome future thefts.”

One event which is still going ahead is a flower festival, which was suggested by the Friends of Old Sodbury Church. When the appeal reached its target the planning for the festival was already well underway, so the organisers decided to go ahead and put any money raised towards other church projects.

The theme is All You Need is Love, with the Chipping Sodbury and Yate Flower Arranging Society displaying floral interpretations of Beatles’ songs Lady Madonnna, Strawberry Fields, Norwegian Wood and The Long and Winding Road, among others.

Festival organiser Alan Watts said: “The Beatles theme was chosen because 2019 is the 50th anniversary of the Beatles' final performance and there are, apparently, links with Bristol.

Paul McCartney claims that Eleanor Rigby was inspired by the group working with actress Eleanor Bron on the film Help! and Rigby was taken from the name of a shop in the centre of Bristol. The shop is thought to be Rigby and Evens, Wine and Spirit shippers based in King Street. McCartney noticed the shop while visiting Bristol to watch his then girlfriend, Jane Asher, acting in a play.”

The festival takes place from June 28 to 30, from 11am to 6pm. Entrance is free, although donations are welcome. Cream teas will be on sale.