Press Release from the Friends of St Edmund’s Church, Sedgefield
Drone discovery shock for Friends of Sedgefield’s ancient parish church
Serious damage has been discovered in the stonework at Sedgefield’s ancient St Edmund’s Church – and the repair bill has been estimated at around £10,000. ‘Joints you can put your hand into’ have been found in the water tabling on top of the East Gable wall.
Although it was known that repairs were needed to various parts of the external stonework, it was not until a recent approved flight check by local drone pilot Jonathan Clegg that the full extent of damage to the water-tabling was revealed. A physical inspection confirmed the need for urgent action.
“This is a very serious situation. In parts of the water tabling, there are joints that require immediate attention”, said Emeritus warden Brian Mutch (pictured), who has special responsibility for church buildings in the parish of the Upper Skerne. “If we don’t act before the winter, bad weather is likely to cause further serious erosion to both external and internal parts of our historic building and lead to even greater expense.”
Once the Diocese of Durham was made aware of the seriousness of the damage, it gave permission for remedial work on the East Gable to begin as soon as possible. Restoration work to other parts of the fabric will now be carried out in the Spring.
The repair bill will be met by the Friends but has come at a particularly challenging time for group members who recently launched a public appeal to help renovate the mechanism and two faces of the community-owned clock on the church tower.
Dr Alistair Irvine, Chairman of the Friends, has assured those who have already made donations to the clock appeal that their contributions will be ring-fenced until emergency work on the gable has been completed.
Anyone wanting to make a contribution to the repairs or clock faces can donate via their new ‘Just Giving’ page, which can be found on https://justgiving.com/fo-stedmundschurch or by sending a cheque to the Friends’ membership secretary, Brian Mutch, at 6 Hasledon Grove, Sedgefield, TS21 2JW, tel 01740 622302.
More information can be found on the website at friendsofstedmunds.org
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