Vital £100,000 refurbishment begins on church tower

PUBLISHED: 15:22 12 October 2015 | UPDATED: 15:22 12 October 2015

St Andrew's Church with scaffolding around the tower.

St Andrew's Church with scaffolding around the tower.

Archant

SCAFFOLDING has hidden part of a Burnham-on-Sea church while it undergoes a £100,000 refurbishment to repair its decaying external stonework.

The main 78ft-high tower at St Andrew’s Church, in Victoria Street, has long been known for its slightly lop-sided foundations, and has been temporarily engulfed by the framework to allow its stonework to be repaired by stonemasons, who have been drafted in locally.

They will be in place to repoint parts of the tower, and will also set about redefining the windows of the building, which have been left untouched for many years.

The church is celebrating its 700th anniversary this year, with construction having begun on the middle-age building in 1305, although there has been a church in some form on the site since the 11th century.

There is hope the work on the church’s stonework will be completed in time for Christmas, with work scheduled to wrap-up during December.

Routine inspections are carried out on the church’s stonework every five years, and it was during one such inspection that staff were alerted to the problems.

The church’s vicar, the Reverend Graham Witts said: “The inspection showed up some major damage on the fabric of the building’s stoneworks, and this needed urgent attention.

“The work will cost in the region of £100,000. We are fortunate to have funds to carry it out.

“We hope once work is done we will be able to redecorate the interior of the church and have a new lighting system in place.

“But until the building is watertight, unfortunately that will not be possible.”

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