Church of England Diocese of Ely Fen Drayton with Fenstanton

Restoration Appeal

29 Aug 2020, 3 p.m.
Church_news Community_news News_about_our_building

We’re really excited to report that the disappointment of cancelling events early into the lockdown has been outweighed by the excellent news that our Expression of Interest to Historic England’s Covid-19 Emergency Heritage at Risk Response Fund has been successful and we have been invited to tender a full application for funding to help repair St Mary’s church. At the time of writing, we are cracking on with getting the estimates, writing the environmental statements and the procurement plan, and completing all the paperwork for the submission deadline of 31 August. While there is no guarantee of acceptance, the odds are considerably better, so we will put our best efforts into creating the strongest possible case for funding.

If we are successful in winning HE funding, the grant would be used for repairs to the south-west wall and in making a safe access to the bell-chamber, with the major part of the grant going towards preparation of a technical design, detailed specifications and tender documentation for repair of the failed parapet gutters and roof. This development work would enable us to apply for a significant grant at a later stage. Thanks go to everyone who has been involved in getting us to this point and we will keep our fingers crossed for the next step in our project to restore St Mary’s.

While grant funding is necessary for the repairs, we also need to show that we are making our own contribution towards the care of St Mary’s and our ambitious plans to reimagine our lovely church building. We would enable our place of worship to become much more than gathering for services on Sundays and other Holy Days, and create a space that complements the Village Hall, in line with the results of the 2019 village survey.

Please help by giving what you can for the St Mary’s Restoration Fund. Sadly, because of Covid-19 restrictions, we are unable to arrange a Church(yard) working party this year but you can make a secure Gift-Aided donation online at

Finally, please remember Geoff and Rosemary Dodgson in your thoughts and prayers as Geoff becomes ordained as Deacon on Saturday 26 September in Ely Cathedral. Although visitors will be restricted in numbers, there will be a live streaming of the ordination service. We wish Geoff every success in his vocation and thank him for all he has done for St Mary’s in the past.

Phil Christie
Sub-warden to St Mary’s church