Crofton Park

St Hilda's Appeal in the South London press

A VICAR is appealing to kind hearted and generous people to support a project to help fund repairs to his church.

Father Stuart Bates who has been vicar at St Hilda’s Church in Crofton Park for nearly 21 years said a series of urgent repairs needed to be made in order for the church to be warm and dry.

He is hoping people in the community will write in to him with letters of support in order to qualify for a grant from the Landfill Reclaim Communities scheme.

Father Bates has been trying to raise the cash to replace the roof for the past 17 years but now says there is a shortfall of at least £98,000.

He has a potential funder in place to pay for the restoration work on the roof, which includes replacing some of the slate tiles and putting in felt to improve insulation, but he needs to show evidence of the role the church makes in the community.

He said: "The church is very cold and draughty and I’m finding more and more leaks.

"However the funding process is very complicated and in order to get this tranche from the Landfill Reclaim Communities scheme I need people to send letters of support for the church by Wednesday May 4.

"I have been trying for the past 17 years to get funding to pay for this work which includes removing asbestos and repairing and replacing stained glass windows that have been damaged - both by vandals and during the war.

"It’s an expensive process and this is the first time since I’ve been here that I’ve made a direct appeal for financial help.

"We have a funding gap of at least £98,000 but there are other things that need doing and so this could rise to more than £200,000.

"However, what has been so heartening is all the letters of support I have had so far. Even if we are unsuccessful in the bid, the letters have been amazing and a real boost to morale so I’m incredibly grateful."

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