Church watertight once more - after lead thieves struck

St Mary's Chruch, Frampton.

St Mary's Chruch, Frampton.

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Churchgoers at St Mary’s in Frampton can take their seat without fear of being dripped on after the roof was made watertight.

After four years of fundraising by the Friends of Frampton Churches and a grant of £46,300 from the ‘Listed Places of Worship Roof Repair Fund’, the roof is no longer leaking.

The 12th century listed building suffered several attacks by lead thieves, which allowed rainwater to pour in.

Additional security measures have been taken and a three month project has now been completed to replace stolen lead with Terne coated steel.

The repairs also included the replacement of rainwater guttering and downpipes and new tiling to the Vestry and South Porch.

Special tiles had to be used in places, to allow for bat entry and exit points to comply with the law.

Commenting on the completion of the project, Reader minister John Marshall said: “We are very pleased with the work. Without the fundraising efforts of the Friends of Frampton Churches and the large grant, we could not have managed to get the job done.

“The temporary plastic sheeting would not have withstood another winter, leaving the roof timbers and interior of the church at serious risk.

“We are very grateful for the support of all those involved with the project.”

During the roof work, there was an interesting ‘mark’ find. A portion of lead bore the following inscription within a shield ‘F F Hewitt Kirton 1852’.

Research has revealed the originator as Francis Fisher Hewitt a local plumber, born at Kirton in 1831.

The work was overseen by local architect Mary Anderson and the contractors were Belfry Ltd of Peterborough.

l A photographic record of the project is available to view on the church website: www.framptonchurch.com

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