Fundraisers take first steps to save building

Eddie Rodman and Maureen Windust
Eddie Rodman and Maureen Windust

CAMPAIGNERS battling to stop an 800-year-old church from falling down have carried out temporary work on the building.

The Good Shepherd stained glass window at the west end of St Peter’s Church in Raunds has been removed and safely stored away as it was being stretched by the building’s moving walls.

A collection box has also been put beneath the Grade I listed building’s medieval wall paintings to collect any bits of plaster that fall off so they can be restored and also to stop them falling on to the congregation below.

The Evening Telegraph revealed the church was in desperate need of repair last November after major cracks appeared in the west end of the building. At the time it was estimated the work would cost £250,000 but it now appears the total cost will be significantly greater, although the final figures are not yet in.

Church warden and treasurer Maureen Windust said: “We’ve carried out temporary repairs to make the building safe and to preserve items such as the stained glass window at the west end and the windows at the south-west corner have been boarded up.

“A structural engineer is monitoring the building’s movement and is putting out for tenders for the underpinning work. We hope the underpinning will be done by the end of the year. It needs to be done as soon as possible but we need to raise the money for the work first.”

The church has set up a fundraising campaign office which is putting in bids for grants. It is also gratefully receiving donations and has recently received a donation from Kettering and District Rambling Club.

Once the structural repairs are done the church hopes to refurbish the building so it can be used as a meeting place for the wider community. This would involve putting in disabled facilities, moving pews from the back of the church and creating a kitchen-servery.

To donate money call 01933 622220 or 07973 327192.