PARISHIONERS of a 700-year-old church are attempting to raise £207,000 to fund ‘vital repairs’.

St Wilfrid’s Church in Ribchester is calling for donations to help repair large holes in the roof of the Grade I-listed building.


As a result, water damage has to spread to the upper levels, causing serious damage.

The church has already received an £87,000 grant from the government-sponsored Roof Repair Fund as well as other donations.

Parishioners now only need around £40,000 to complete the work.

The money will repair the building’s well-known dormer windows, one of which has been boarded up for several months.

Roof repairs would include the replacement of slates on both the North and South sides of the main roof over the nave.

Much of the roof flashings, gutters and associated leadwork would also be repaired and the plasterwork over the chancel arch inside the church needs to be replaced.

Two old boilers also need to be replaced, costing around £15,000.

Alan Tomlinson, one of the church wardens and a fundraiser trustee, said services have suffered as a result of the roof damage.

He said: “The church is the jewel of the village, it’s a very well known and we get lots of tourists visiting every week.

“The fact we got a huge grant off the government shows how urgent these repairs are needed.

“It has been 50 years since the roof was looked at and it has been battered to bits by the wind, rain, hail and snow.

“Without effective boilers, we’ve held very cold services and they have been uncomfortable for parishioners.

“The longer it is left the more consequential the damage will become.

“Ancient timbers and plasterwork is being damaged and we don’t want to start cutting off services because the church is unusable.”

The church was built on the site of the Roman fort, Bremetenacum.

There are around 120 parishioners registered to the church.

Mr Tomlinson said: “The work would help the church in many ways."

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