Last updated: Fri 5 May 2017

Help clean up Nunney Church

The Friends of Nunney Church are looking for volunteers to help clean the church on Saturday 6 May, after the completion of a new nave ceiling.

Lots of chances this weekend to have a peek at the fantastic transformation that’s taken place in the church.

There’s a big church and churchyard cleanup on Saturday 9am to 2.30pm and Sunday 10.15am to whenever it’s finished. Just show up with gloves and your favourite tools if you have them. Coffee and biscuits will be provided.

The first service – a simple communion – will be at 9.15am on Sunday. Coffee and croissants for everyone afterwards.

The scaffolding has come down after the installation of a new nave roof and four dormer windows in All Saints Church Nunney.

After 9 years of fundraising it was a landmark moment in the history of Nunney’s monument. The Friends of Nunney Church still urgently need an additional £20,000 to finish the project.

Ken Lloyd, chairman of the Raise the Roof Appeal, said: “The scaffolders showed up on Monday morning and it took them all day to take down the scaffolding.

“The ceiling plastering looks superb and the general appearance is exactly as it was before the old ceiling came down 60 years ago. I haven’t stopped smiling yet.”

The Bishop of Bath & Wells, the Right Reverend Peter Hancock, has kindly agreed to come and dedicate the restored roof.

An invitation is extended to all Friends of Nunney Church to attend this very special service.

The church has been the centre of this village for 800 years. It desperately needed to be restored to serve generations yet to come.

The church lost its ancient roof 60 years ago. Although the temporary roof has kept out the elements, it did not let in any light and was a not fitting on a Grade I edifice.

Nunney Church is not only the oldest and biggest building in the village but one where the most important activities take place.

For many hundreds of years it was not only used as a religious building for baptisms, weddings and funerals, but also as the original Nunney village hall.

Effigies of Richard Prater and Margaret Ashfield in All Saints Church, Nunney

Effigies of Richard Prater and Margaret Ashfield in All Saints Church, Nunney

As a monument it is considerably older than Nunney Castle and we quite simply have a duty to maintain it as part of Nunney’s heritage.

The Church of England is – contrary to what many wrongly believe – not a fabulously wealthy organisation that could simply fork out for every church building in need of some TLC. If we don’t do it, the building is at risk of being closed.

It is intended to increase the usage of the church for other non religious activities by adding a lavatory and making it the favourite venue for concerts, exhibitions and other performances as well as a visitor centre and resource for the many tourists and other visitors who grace the village each year.

Nunney Church Roof

The interior of Nunney Church in 1907

The Friends of Nunney Church work closely with Visit Nunney to promote and develop events and exhibitions for next year and beyond.

During the last year a new bat roost was finished. The fibreboard ceiling was taken down, the Friends obtained the all-important faculty, Mendip District Council gave planning permission and all the other approvals required for work to begin on restoring the roof.

Having spent 9 years raising money, the Raise the Roof Appeal had got to the point where it had enough to make a start. Ever since the 1860s fundraising effort have been outpaced by rising renovation costs.

Nunney Church Roof

The nave of Nunney Church before and after the “temporary” ceiling tiles were removed.

Therefore the Friends took a brave decision to start building work in October, with a further £40,000 still to be raised for completion.

Ken Lloyd, chairman of the Raise the Roof Appeal, told Visit Nunney, “Progress has been excellent and we now have the four dormer windows cut into the roof and the new steel roof trusses should arrive soon.”

“We decided to make a start this winter so as not to lose another year, even though we had not quite enough cash to complete the whole project. We are today about £40,000 short of projected total cost of £220,000.”

“We need one final push to get us over the line. Any amount, however small, will make a difference. You can all do the maths – If 1,000 people gave £40 each we would be there.”

Please play your part in this important event in the history of our village.

community archive

A visitor and heritage centre is on the wishlist for All Saints Church Nunney following completion of the renovation work.

We have a chest in the church for donations – cheques should be sent to Ken Lloyd or Hilary Allom made out to ‘Postlebury PCC Friends of Nunney Church’ and there is a donate button on the appeal’s website at nunneyraisetheroof.org.uk.

You can also follow progress on the Friends who like Nunney Church Raise the Roof Appeal page on Facebook.

“If, by the time the contractors have finished their work, we find that a shortfall remains, we will consider seeking short term loans, for repayment as our continuing fund-raising permits,” Ken Lloyd explained.

“To celebrate our achievement there will be a number of events throughout 2017. The Friends of Nunney Church hope you will be inspired to participate. Please help the Friends of Nunney Church to succeed where our predecessors failed, despite their best efforts.”

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