Tower Refurbishment and Road Closures

Proceeds from the fund raising Campaign 2023 and substantial grants from a number of charitable trusts and other organisations, both locally and nationally, enabled the refurbishment of St Mary’s iconic tower during 2023. 

Scaffolding will be taken down progressively from 24 January. Work at the top of the tower and on the clockfaces will be time consuming, so it may look that nothing much is happening with the scaffold, but it will be! The roads around the church will be closed from 22 January to 19 April 19 for safety reasons, but every effort will be made to reopen before that date. The roads affected are Northgate Street, Church Street and Old Square. Parking will be suspended on these roads and a one-way system will be in operation for diverting vehicles around these streets. We are doing what we can to work with these issues and expect to be in a position to ask the Council to re-open the roads in March/April. We do apologise for the length of time that these roads will be closed and for the disruption that this will cause. We understand the difficulties that this can cause surrounding communities and would like to thank you for your continued patience.

Phase 3 of the tower work, the east face clock and related building work, will proceed in April. It will be carried out from scaffold erected on the north side of the church and using the church roof. The scaffold around the tower will be dismantled and most views of the tower, south, west and north, will be fully restored. The works buildings on the south side will remain but the main entrance to the church will be in use again.

In addition to restoration work, routine maintenance costs for the church building are over £30,000 a year. Add to this the heating and lighting bills and the annual Parish Share we pay to the Diocese, we are faced with a considerable monthly outgoings; we need to raise £1,000 a day to fund our normal operational expenses.  

If you are able to help financially in any way, please make a donation or contact the Parish Office to discuss how you might be able to provide support.