Historic church appeals for help after roof theft

We are appealing for help to restore the roof which has 12 tonnes of lead stolen from it on August 11th 2015 needing £40,000 of repairs

Project aim

We are appealing for help to restore the roof which had 12 tonnes of lead stolen from it on August 11th 2015 needing £40,000 of repairs

About the project

On the night of August 11th 2015 thieves stripped over half the roof of nearly 12 tonnes of lead from St Mary the Virgin with St John in Great Brington, Northamptonshire. In their haste they also knocked over and damaged at least one head stone in the process.

Unfortunately, even though the church is insured, the loss and damage to roof far exceeds sums the insurance company will cover. With autumn rapidly approaching the race is on to ensure that the roof can be replaced to ensure that further damage is not caused to this Grade 1 Listed Building and it’s contents, many of which are irreplaceable. To repair the roof and other damage we urgently need to raise £40,000.

The present church stands on the site of an earlier Saxon wooden church and is one of 5 other churches, which make up the Spencer Benefice. The first record of a priest at Brington can be found in the Doomsday Book in 1086. The Tower is the earliest part of the present church and built around 1200 A.D.

This church is however not just an idyllic rural place of worship but plays a part in the creation of the United States of America as the lineage of the first President of the United States of America, George Washington can be traced back to Lawrence Washington his great, great, great Grandfather whose grave can be found beneath a stone slab in the chancel of the church.

The church also features a unique link to the British Royal Family as twenty generations of the Spencer family rest within the Spencer Chapel, including the 8th Earl Spencer, father of the present Earl, Charles Spencer and Diana, Princess of Wales. The Spencer family will be paying for the works related to their chapel, this appeal is for the main church area.

We are appealing for help from the public to restore the damaged roof for the benefit of many generations to come who may wish to worship in, or just visit this beautiful church.

Once the work has been completed the Rector The Reverend Sue Kipling will hold a service of thanksgiving and re-dedication of the roof, which will be open to all to attend. In addition we will commission a stone marker on which will be the names of all those individuals/groups who generously donated £1000 or above to this most worthy cause.

John Jones is a member of the Spencer Benefice Lay Worship Team and the Managing Director CrimeDeter Limited, a company providing security services to clients across the UK. John has pledged to provide funding for the installation of a new alarm system to protect the roof and his company is providing staff and resources to start and administer this appeal.

In closing can we thanks you in advance for your generosity and, like The Reverend Sue, we pray for those who have committed this most awful crime and hope one day they seek forgiveness for their actions.

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