Vital work has finally started on Daventry’s Holy Cross Church following over a year of community fundraising.
A massive restoration project finally got under way this week on the Grade I listed building. Just last year it faced closure when English Heritage placed it on its ‘at risk’ register and an estimated £320,000 was needed for repair work.
The 18th-century town church was decaying due to adverse weather and wear but, thanks to the generosity of the Daventry community, will remain open having reached the fundraising target.
Church warden, Peter Wagstaff, said: “I’m very relieved the work has started at the church and that we can make it safe.
“Cock-a-hoop is all I can say because we didn’t know if we would make it and we were unsure what we would be able to afford to repair.
“Thankfully the tenders came in under budget and we can do all the repairs and not just emergency ones.”
The Rev Canon Michael Webber said the project was finally starting to come together thanks to special events, grants and fundraising from members of the church and community.
He said: “We had quite a major target to raise locally in the middle of a recession and we realised that was going to be difficult but thankfully we can now look forward to the work’s completion.”
The church will be accessible to the public during the repair work.
Mr Wagstaff added:“We will be holding a celebratory service to mark the end of the work in September which will hopefully coincide with Holy Cross Day.
“I would like to thank the Gusher for its support because many people said they read our story in the paper. The people of Daventry gave very generously and I’d like to thank them too.”