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All Saints Church, Leavesden launches 'Raising the Roof' appeal
A year-long campaign dubbed ‘raising the roof’ to collect £250,000 for a brand new roof to be installed in a Leavesden Church has begun.
The congregation of All Saints Church, in All Saints Crescent has launched a year of fundraising to renew their original church roof and hopes to hold an event every month.
The church, dating back to 1853, is a Grade II listed building and is one of three properties in Watford to be put on the English Heritage ‘At Risk’ register.
It was designed by a notable architect Sir George Gilbert Scott, who is best known for the Albert Memorial and St Pancras Station.
It remains little changed, with historic fittings, including stained glass windows which were recently repaired.
However a recent inspection by Chris Davey, vicar at the church, found substantial amounts of plaster had fallen to the floor, because of badly cracked tiles.
After a complete inspection it was revealed the roof was in need of a complete renewal.
Sarah Wilson, who is chair of the All Saint’s roof fundraising committee and has been going to the church since 1996, said it was ‘every vicar’s worst nightmare."
Mrs Wilson has many fond memories at the church, where she has married and both her children Emma, 10 and Thomas, 7 have been baptised there.
She said: "It is a very popular church and has a very large parish.
"We want to try and hold fundraising events which will appeal to every one of all ages and budgets in the community, whether they come along to church every Sunday or not."
Two years ago the All Saints congregation were able to raise £40, 000 for new windows, to replace the original windows.
Mrs Wilson added: "We were able to raise enough money back then for the windows and I was surprised at how many people came forward to get involved and support the church.
"Many of them remembered the church because they had been there for a wedding or baptism.
"I am confident we will raise the money."
The church has been given a grant from English Heritage towards the renewal of the church but have to use this within the next six months.
Even with a substantial grant the church community still needs to raise in excess of £150,000.
To officially launch the fundraising year, the church will hold their annual Christmas market on 1 December, where residents are invited to find out more about fundraising opportunities such as buying a "Tile for a Tenner" as well as getting into the Christmas spirit.
The ‘Tile for a Tenner’ will encourage residents to buy a roof tile and then have their name placed in a donation book to add ‘a personal touch’.
Other events include a Burns Night supper and Clash of the Choirs competition involving local schools and concerts all around the theme of Raising the Roof in Watford Palace.
The church will also hold the Bushey and Watford Rock Chorus on December 8, where the local community singing group who have a tradition of fundraising for charities and community projects, will be taking to the stage performing rock, pop and soul classics in two 45 minute sets.
Vicar Chris Davey said: "The church has continuously served its community over three centuries and been a place of comfort and care.
"We are planning a series of fundraising events to cater for all tastes and budgets and want to involve all parts of our local community."
To buy a ticket to the Bushey and Watford Rock Chorus show which starts at 7pm, contact email@example.com or 01923 614919.