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At-risk Tudor-era Gloucestershire church needs hundreds of thousands of pounds to save it

The roof of a Tudor-era church in a village on the edge of Gloucester is in danger of collapse unless hundreds of thousands of pounds can be found to save it. The centrepiece of Upton St Leonards needs urgent repairs or it could be closed.


The parish church at Upton St Leonards - Photo Timothy Titus


Villagers have launched a fundraiser to raise £450,000 to save the parish church. It is the main venue for funerals, baptisms and weddings not only for Upton St Leonards but also nearby communities in Gloucester.


Officials running the building, which was built in 1541, say wear and tear has led to the state of the roof today. The church is currently open but could close over safety fears.


Richard Sugdon is project manager for the scheme to fix the church roof. He said that £450,000 is needed to save it.


With around £130,000 raised so far, he said: “The new design has been approved, tenders have been invited, so now beyond this we need to raise money.”


He added: “The church has an inspection every five years and we’ve got quotes of the work taking around 16 weeks for it to be completed. If the roof continues to leak the church will eventually be unusable and that would be unusual.

“What happens to churches that are not used? They become derelict.”


Churchwarden Gill Howell says the church is important to her because of the congregation she represents. "The worrying thing is tenders coming in and when the tiles start to be taken off they don't know what they will find,” she said.


“The church is damp and we know that this will be an uphill climb so we must not let it go as it is so beautiful”.


One Upton St Leonards resident said: “I've been here for over 44 years and I don't want the church to fall into disrepair.”


Joanna Wilson, living in the village added: "I'm not a church-goer but I put some time and effort to sit on the committee to help raise funds to fix the roof. For those who may not be Christian this church for baptisms and weddings is important to them.”


To make a donation or enquires about Upton St Leonards Parish Church roof, you can contact richardsugdon@aol.com and Gill Howell at howzatglos@hotmail.com or via phone on 07896 646119.


Source: gloucestershirelive.co.uk


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