WORK has started on major repair work to a village’s historic church.
Scaffolding has been going up around St Margaret’s in Crick this week ahead of the first phase of work to windows and the tower.
Sue Milne, secretary of the Friends of St Margaret’s, said: “We have now reached the target to enable us to proceed with he first phase, covering the restoration of the tower and four of the five windows in urgent need of repair and the scaffolding started to go up on Tuesday last week.
“Meanwhile, we are working on building up a contingency fund as it is highly likely that, once the work is underway, further damage will become apparent.
“The fifth window and other, less urgent projects will remain in the background.”
Five years ago it was discovered that the church needed restoration work and the Friends were set up to raise funds for the work through applying for grants and putting on events.
By 2009 the group had discovered that repairs and previous restoration work was now falling apart and the bill to tackle all the problems was likely to top half a million pounds.
An English Heritage survey suggested the church – dating from around 1077 – was in one of the worst conditions they had ever seen.
The five windows were in such a poor state that without remedial action they would have to be boarded up to try and preserve them.
The stone tower is crumbling, with a condition known as ‘delamination’, caused by incorrect repairs made last century using concrete.
The group started off with £58,000 and then successfully applied for a £144,000 grant from English Heritage.
That money, along with donations from several other charities, is paying for this first stage of the restoration work.
Recently the Friends have also been told they will receive £3,000 from the Francis Coales Charitable Trust once the work has been completed.
The latest fundraiser is an old-fashioned concert to celebrate spring and the progress made in the five years since the project was started.
It takes place tomorrow (Friday) starting at 7.30pm in St Margaret’s.
Mrs Milne said: “The programme will be very varied, featuring performers of a wide range of ages and including singers, instrumentalists and amusing monologues.”
Admission is by donation and all proceeds go to the restoration.