A village church could be reduced to “a huge pile of rubble” if action to remove its spire is not taken.
St Margaret’s Church in Thimbleby was informed by structural engineers that if repair and demolition is not carried out within the next few weeks, the spire and parts of the supporting tower are likely to collapse during the approaching winter months.
Work will commence on Monday November 25 and within the week the spire will be removed, and the belfry tower secured.
Peter Harper, surveyor and technical consultant, said: “The plan is to construct scaffolding, with a cushioned crash deck over the main church roof, to protect the building in the event of the spire falling.”
The consequences of the collapse are equally as destructive as the imminent danger of the collapse itself. If the structure falls to the west, debris would land across the public footpath and onto the road.
If the structure falls to the east, however, the nave would cause severe roof damage, and would likely end in complete demolition of the church.
The trust’s primary issue is to prevent personal injury or death caused from the collapse. The church has been closed for three years and needs £75,000 worth of repairs.
A site meeting was held on July 26 when representatives from the CofE Diocese of Lincoln agreed to proceed with emergency work without delay. Mr Harper said that the spire had moved 2.6 degrees south over the past ten months, forcing immediate action.
The work should be completed by the end of November and the road will be reduced to a single carriageway for around a week.