£75,000 needed to re-open Thimbleby Church

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URGENT repairs to the tune of £75,000 are needed to reopen St Margaret’s Church at Thimbleby.

URGENT repairs to the tune of £75,000 are needed to reopen St Margaret’s Church at Thimbleby.

And visiting bats have triggered a race against time for the villagers to come up with the cash.

Bats are not resident and roosting at St Margaret’s but their guest appearances do mean work has to be completed between April and September.

Church warden, Jeannne Goulborne, said villagers are determined to see their church open its doors again.

They have already donated £1,500 to the cause and fundraising activities are being planned.

The church was forced to close at the beginning of November when the stone work and electric wiring was deemed unsafe.

Mrs Goulbourne said: ““We had no alternative.”

She said the safety of the electricity supply and heating could not be guaranteed and there is a risk of stones falling from the west face.

It will cost an estimated £65,000 to repair the tower’s stone work and approximately £10,000 to rectify the electricity supply.

In addition, money is needed for replacement curtains in the church and the re-gilding of the exterior clock.

A grant for £28,000 has already been secured from English Heritage.

Applications for other grants are pending and it is hoped funds will be in place by March so work can begin in April.

Mrs Goulbourne added: “I am confident the church will reopen.”

In the interim, all church services will take place at Thimbleby Village Hall.

The Rev Alyson Buxton conducted a communion service on Sunday – the only one of its kind to be held amid adverse weather conditions in the South Wolds Group.

Future services include the carol service on Sunday, December 19 at 3pm and Morning Praise at 10am on Sunday, January 8.