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Church appeals for cash for roof repair
ONE of Swindon’s largest churches has launched a £1m appeal for work to repair a leaking roof and make other vital improvements to the building.
Holy Rood Catholic Church, in Groundwell Road, needs funds to replace the metal roof on the 1971 extension, which has let in water into the main body of the church for some years.
It is also planned to replace the underfloor heating, which covers most of the church but no longer works, possibly due to water damage from the leaking roof.
And parishioners hope to install much brighter lights to meet modern requirements, before eventually redecorating the whole building.
The Rev Canon John Cunningham, the parish priest, said: “It will make the church building fit for the 21st century.
“Previous generations have looked after the building with tender loving care and we want to look after the building in a fit state for future generations to come.
“I think it’s a challenge to raise £1m and obviously we aren’t going to make it quickly but over a period of time I’m absolutely sure the Lord will provide if that’s what he wants.”
Canon Cunningham said he expected the roof to cost about £300,000, the underground heating to cost about £150,000, and the lighting to be £75,000 to £100,000, with thousands spent on re-decorating.
He said parishioners had so far donated about £8,000 since the beginning of the year and he would encourage his Sunday congregation, which averages about 3,500 people, to continue fundraising.
He said: “We have got some money that’s already coming in but we haven’t got any substantial money.
“Obviously before we can start any work, we need to raise a substantial amount.
We probably need £250,000 to start the work.
“We have got many, many different ideas. We’re looking for grants for some of the work.
Various parishioners have come up with different ideas about fundraising.
“We’re asking parishioners at mass to increase their giving. We’re asking the Catholic schools in Swindonto support it as well.
“We’re looking for each family or small group of parishioners to put on a series of small events.
“If every parishioner aims to raise £50 to £100 each, we would be absolutely well on the way to getting there, with 3,000 or so at mass on a Sunday.”
He also appealed for donations from Catholics who perhaps had not attended the church for a while, those who had been baptised or married at the church, or othergroups and individuals who have used the building.
To make a donation call 01793 522062 or firstname.lastname@example.org