Rising prices mean that the small congregation at Stondon Massey church is faced with a £5,000 shortfall following completion of essential work to retile the nave roof.
Roofing Contractors have advised that the heating oil used to fire the new tiles and the price of the imported lead has been the main reason why costs have risen since the indicative estimate given last year. More work to the roof structure also proved necessary once the old tiles were stripped off.
The Norman Grade I listed church of St Peter and St Paul has stood on the “stone hill” on the outskirts of Stondon Massey village since about 1130. It has long been associated with the Elizabethan composer, William Byrd, an ardent Catholic who lived in Stondon Massey for the last thirty years of his life, dying on 4 July 1623. Although he probably never crossed the threshold to receive an Anglican communion, inevitably his body was laid to rest in the churchyard, as requested in his last Will and Testament. Byrd’s memorial, unveiled nearly 100 years ago, is on the nave wall. We have the Edwardian Rector of the village, Revd. Reeve, to thank for his bringing to local and national recognition this great composer, who is now remembered at the annual William Byrd Memorial Concert held at the church by the Stondon Singers (to be held 6 July 2010 at 8pm).
Re-roofing the nave will ensure that the small country church is watertight for generations to come. The present Rector, Revd. Toni Smith, is appealing for funds to bridge the gap.
It is our turn to remember and protect this legacy and honour those who have worshipped in this little church over many centuries, through both bad times as well as good.
£5,000 is urgently needed.
Do help if you are able, as have the many generations who have gone before us. Do come and see for yourself. The church is open for services and on the 2nd Sunday in the month until September from 2.30 to 4.30pm.
Donations would be welcomed. Please send cheques payable to St Peter & St Paul Church PCC to Blackmore Vicarage, Church Street, Blackmore, Ingatestone, Essex. CM4 0RN.