Appeal to fund clock tower repairs boosted by DWM

12 February 2012

An historic parish church in need of urgent repairs to its bell tower has been given over half the cash it needs by a Devon recycling company.

Devon Waste Management has given £31,200 net to help save the tower of
St Andrew’s Church, Kenn, which has stood for 700 years.

An appeal is seeking to raise the estimated £61,000 needed to repair the structural damage caused by rain getting in through the failed asphalt roof membrane. Damage has been caused to the supporting roof timbers.

Temporary repairs have reduced the amount of water entering the tower but the entire clock tower roof will have to be replaced.

“If this action is not undertaken we risk further damage to the timbers of the bell frame - the bells were recently refurbished at great expense - damage to the bell-ringing chamber and the mechanism of the magnificent clock, damage to the organ loft and valuable organ and lastly damage to the meeting room,” said Rod Harbottle, of the St Andrew’s Building Committee. 

“To make matters worse the tower parapets are in are in a dangerous condition and the masonry pointing, especially to the North face of the clock tower, requires attention.”

Repairs to the Grade 1 listed tower require specialist building skills with materials designed to last, making the cost so high, he said.

“Our architect has estimated the necessary works at £61,000. This is a huge sum for a small rural parish to find. We are extremely grateful for the funding from Devon Waste Management. So far we have raised £4,900 from the parish community and £6,500 from additional grants so we are now well over half way there but with a lot of fund-raising still to do to find the remaining £18,400.”

Devon Waste Management, which operates the county’s recycling facilities and “green” skip hire company Coastal Waste Recycling, decided to help the church as part of its grant scheme to give something back to its local community.

Commercial director Steve Hadley said: “As a successful Exeter-based business we believe that we owe it to our local community to help protect the environment and it gives us great pleasure to be supporting the appeal to preserve this wonderful historic landmark.”

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