MP backs Raunds church repair funding bid

The Rev Shena Bell, Andy Sawford MP and church wardens Maureen Windust and Eddy Rodman

The Rev Shena Bell, Andy Sawford MP and church wardens Maureen Windust and Eddy Rodman

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An MP has given his support to a campaign set up to help pay for urgent repairs to a town’s 13th-century church.

Andy Sawford visited St Peter’s Church in Raunds at the end of March, where he was shown structural damage which requires underpinning.

But the work comes with a price tag of up to £1 million.

A group established to help fund the work has raised tens of thousands of pounds, but more is needed – and Mr Sawford has promised to investigate whether Government funding could be provided.

Mr Sawford, who paid tribute to the fundraising team, said he would investigate possible sources of help.

The Treasury has outlined funding for cathedrals and the MP has written to Chancellor George Osborne to ask whether there is scope to use some of the funding on churches. He could raise the issue in Parliament and with the Church Commissioners.

Mr Sawford added: “We are at the stage of finding out what help and support might be out there, and then we will decide what action to take.”

Vicar of Raunds, the Rev Shena Bell, said the church was part of the heritage of the town. She added: “It would be quite awful to let it fall down. We need to do what we can to make sure it doesn’t. It’s a beautiful building. It’s a nice symbol of Raunds’s history.”

Joan Jones, from the fundraising committee, said: “At one point you can see a crack from the top to the bottom, so it will fall down eventually.”