Raising the roof

St Saviours Church,  Shotton.
St Saviours Church, Shotton.
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PARISHIONERS have helped to keep a roof over their heads after a charity whip-round.

Thanks to a massive donation of £700 from generous worshippers, St Saviour’s Church has now had stolen lead replaced on its roof in double-quick time.

The Mail reported in July that the congregation had been left disgusted after the despicable theft.

The crime had set back a campaign to raise thousands of pounds for a church revamp and the parish feared it would have to use some of the money used for renovations to repair the roof.

But after reading about the theft at the Shotton church in the Mail, locals pledged to help and quickly amassed the cash.

It was added to insurance money, which church warden George Robinson said only covered half the approximate £2,000 cost as, although the lead was Smartwater security-coated, it wasn’t Smartwater registered, which is a condition of any pay-outs.

But Mr Robinson today thanked parishioners for rallying round and ensuring the church roof was repaired.

A lead substitute is now in place which Mr Robinson says is worthless to any potential scrap thieves.

He added: “It was after the article that everybody rallied round and everyone was shocked that anyone would attack the church like that.

“I’m very overwhelmed by their generosity.

“The main reason we were able to complete the work so quickly was down to the kind people and groups within Shotton who donated the money towards the cost of repairs.

“We didn’t think we would get what we got and on behalf of the church council I thank them for their generosity.”

The Grange Terrace-based church recently held a fundraising drive and £35,000 was donated through various events towards a scheme to replace masonry. This was topped up by £20,000 in grants from the Durham Diocese and the scheme was just days away from completion.

The masonry has now been completed and now the church is looking ahead to having the interior transformed.