A historic church near Burnham-On-Sea has received a huge £50,000 funding boost this week to repair its failing roof.

St Mary’s Church in East Brent has received the grant from Viridor Credits through its Landfill Communities Fund.

The church was built in the 15th century and is a Grade I listed building. The interior features an extremely rare, ribbed plaster ceiling to nave dated 1637. 

Due to the rapidly declining condition of the roof, the building is deteriorating. The leaking roof enables water to pour inside, causing significant damage to the extraordinary ceiling. This repair requires urgent attention as the plaster ceiling is at risk of collapsing.

Thanks to the grant of £50,000 from Viridor Credits, the community of East Brent is delighted that phase one of the urgent roof repairs can commence this summer.

Other supporters include the Nuttall Trust, Somerset Churches Trust and local private donations. The total project will cost approximately £155,000 and with the community’s help, it is hoped that the further phases of repair will commence later this year.

The parish has developed a vision for the church building and is committed to serving at the heart of its community. However, St. Mary’s will not be able to achieve its ambitions without support to urgently address the ever-growing immediate roof repairs, which is putting this exceptional church at risk.

The parish plans to establish a Supporters’ Group, who will have a keen interest in historic building conservation and support with fundraising. All help and experience is most valued.

Revd Kevin Wright, Rector at the church, pictured top, told Burnham-On-Sea.com: “I believe St Mary’s Church is an important symbol of the faith that has been in East Brent for almost a thousand years and an asset to the community.”

“I do not want to see it closed, and I appeal for your help in securing its future and developing it as a community resource.”

In addition to being a focus for local worship, the church provides a free local visitor attraction, offering an opportunity for the community to be outdoors in their local area, walking, cycling, important for mental health and reduce feelings of anxiety and isolation, particularly at this time due to the pandemic.

Emma Brown, Church Buildings Adviser at the Diocese Bath & Wells, adds: “The Diocese is delighted to hear this good news and that the church will be saved and expertly conserved.”

“Thanks to the parish and local volunteers for their dedication and hard work in caring for this magnificent building.”

There is a ‘get to know your church’ community open day planned for Saturday 31st July to celebrate when all will be welcome.

To donate, visit www.theparishofthreesaints.org.uk/donations/

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