St James' Church needs your help

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Urgent repairs needed to St James Church

You may have noticed the stone masons working at St James Church, we are grateful for the money given by the community which has enabled us to start the necessary repairs.

However we URGENTLY need further funds to enable new work which has come to light to be carried out without delay. As mentioned in the AudlemOnline article last week, we had already raised £30,000, of which £20,000 is to be paid for the current work. With a further bill now of around £27,000 + VAT, we need to ask for your help again. We estimate this to be AT LEAST £17,000 more than we currently have available in funds; (see below for details of work required)

How you can help.

  • 1. Provide immediate monetary donations by cheque or cash. These can be deposited in the donation box at the back of the church or through the letter box at the vicarage at 66 Heathfield Road, Audlem. If you are able to GIFT AID, please put your donation in one of the yellow gift aid envelopes available in church, fill out the details on the front and then we can claim another 25% of your donation from the government. Cheques should be made payable to 'Audlem PCC'.
  • 2. We will be holding a number of fundraising events over the next few months, please support them as best you can.
  • 3. Buy a copy of the book 'Audlem Remembers' from the canal shop at £12.95, half of the copies printed have been sold but we can raise a further £1200 if they are all sold.
  • 4. Please contact Rev Helen Chantry on 811543 or Peter Ellis, Church Warden on 812227 if you have any other ideas to raise money or any questions you need answering.

If we fail to do this essential work, we could be faced with possible closure of the church, and at the very least barricading/ safety fencing erected around the tower. St James Church is a much admired and iconic public building at the heart of the village. It is open 365 days a year for visitors and residents, as well as providing the venue for many baptisms, weddings, funerals, services and social events, so we hope you will appreciate the need for such an urgent appeal to preserve this historic building.

What actually needs doing

Following an onsite meeting late last week with our architect and stonemasons about the state of repair of the church tower and buttresses on the northwest corner of the tower, we now have a plan in place to address the considerable and unforeseen extra work needed to stabilise this part of the church.

As well as the current agreed works, it will involve replacement of 17 large stones which have disintegrated or split. Also due to voids between the buttresses and the tower, the insertion of 16, 3 metre long stainless steel 'sock anchors' horizontally drilled into the buttresses and tower are required; this also means scaffolding in order to do the necessary drilling.

At the church meeting (PCC) on Monday evening it was agreed unanimously that this work has to be done immediately. The bell ringing has had to be curtailed because of the structural weakness to the tower. We will also require further emergency permission for this work to take place from the Diocesan Advisory Committee which oversees and approves all work to listed churches and this is already in process.