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All Saints Church in Leavesden saved by donations for roof renovation
A Leavesden church has been saved by "generous" donations and a substantial grant for the repair of its roof.
All Saints Church, in Horseshoe Lane, has been closed for the last four months due to extensive roof damage and a dangerous fall of plaster from the ceiling.
Members of the congregation and friends of All Saints have been attempting to raise the quarter of a million pounds required to completely replace the 160-year-old roof.
This grade two listed church, designed by the famous architect Gilbert Scott, is the only remaining listed Victorian building in the Garston and Leavesden area, but has now been placed on the English Heritage "buildings at risk" register.
As a result of donations from members of the congregation, local residents and a "generous grant" from English Heritage, the church found themselves only £40,000 short of their target.
The Church of England Board of finance has agreed to provide All Saints with a monetary loan to cover the shortfall in order that the work of replacing the roof can start before the winter sets in.
Peter Dawson, church warden, said: "The church will be out of action for about three months but at the end of the day, sometime around Christmas it will be finished and open and we will have one hell of a party and one hell of a service."
It is expected that the scaffolding and construction of a false roof to completely cover the entire church building will start to be erected by early October, with the balance of the internal scaffolding soon after. It is anticipated that the entire process of replacing the roof and as well as all internal ceiling will take at least three to four months to complete.
This timescale means All Saints Church will still be closed to the public well into the new year, but the people and family of All Saints invite all local residents to join them for Harvest and Christmas services in the adjacent community based Parish Hall, which will remain fully operational during the whole of the time the church building is under refurbishment.
The news also comes as All Saints church announce the appointment of the Reverend Edward Green as their new vicar, who will be taking up his new post in time for Christmas this year.
Mr Dawson added: "It has been a big display of generous and sacrificial donations."
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