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Church clock frozen in time until repairs start
5:14pm Tuesday 4th December 2012 in News
TIME is standing still at a church in Royal Wootton Bassett – and it will be for the rest of the year.
The clock on the tower of St Bartholomew’s CoE Church will remain at midnight until a new part for the 160 year old timepiece arrives next year.
Work to fix the clock will be carried out while nearly £95,000 of renovations in the church take place from January to March.
The Reverend Canon Thomas Woodhouse said: “The spring has gone on the clock.
“We have to have it custom made so it won’t be done until after Christmas. They will do it as part of the renovations.
“It won’t be cheap to fix but it is manageable. We have set it at midnight. The bells are still ringing but it is just that particular bit of the clock.
“It is just one of those things that has happened. It is unfortunate but it is an old clock.”
Renovations at the church will involve electrical work and redecorating costing £85,000 and new carpets costing about £9,000.
The Friends of St Bartho-lomew's Church will be funding the carpets, but the church is inviting donations for the other work so it can avoid using all of its reserves.
The church, which tolled its bell during the repatriations in the town, was given permission for the work by the Diocese of Salisbury in October. The friends have already provided a new sound system.
“The church is one of the few public buildings that is open all the time and we would like to have it looking at its best,” said the Rev.
“We need to honour the parish church as an icon in the town. It is used a huge amount. The number of people who go there on a regular basis to spend time is quite phenomenal.
“It is about making the building look like it is cared for.”
The part for the clock is being organised by church warden, Philip Richings.
Mr Richings said: “It will have to be made specially, because the clock is so old, and this will involve further expense that was not anticipated.
“Repair of the clock will be delayed until the building’s refurbishment project gets under way in the New Year.”
The renovations are expected to finish in March and it is hoped the church will remain open for worship during that time.
To help fund the renovations email woottonbassettchurch @tiscali.co.uk or phone 01793 854302.