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Fight is on to save Baydon’s historic but crumbling church

Baydon parishioners David Hill, Helen and Peter Chambers outside the propped up chancel wall at Baydon St Nicholas ChurchBaydon parishioners David Hill, Helen and Peter Chambers outside the propped up chancel wall at Baydon St Nicholas ChurchThe twelfth century St Nicholas Church in Baydon needs around £100,000 worth of repairs if it is to be saved for future generations. 

The church, which stands in a tranquil spot in the centre of the village and also boasts a thirteenth century font, is the oldest building in Baydon.  It has been designated a historic building at risk by Historic England and will appear on their register in October. 

A series of unfortunate events in 2018 has led to the current situation.  Funds had been raised to re-roof the vestry to make it watertight and to repair stonework.  However, in November, at the dead of night, thieves struck and stripped the roof of the north aisle of its lead.

David Hill, a parishioner whose background is in construction and engineering told Marlborough.news:  “Around Christmas we noticed a further problem.  After last summer’s dry spell the cracks that were already apparent in the chancel wall around the stained glass window started to widen to the extent that the walls started to move out.”

Baydon St Nicholas Church - north aisle roof stripped of its lead and leaky vestry roofBaydon St Nicholas Church - north aisle roof stripped of its lead and leaky vestry roofInterior of St Nicholas church showing the cracksInterior of St Nicholas church showing the cracksSome of the ancient crumbling stonework on Baydon St Nicholas ChurchSome of the ancient crumbling stonework on Baydon St Nicholas Church

This wall is now being held in place by scaffolding which is costing over a £100 per week.  Some emergency measures, such as filling in the cracks so water doesn’t seep in, have been taken.  The report from structural engineers is on its way and planning permission for work to be carried out on the listed building should be given soon.

Meanwhile, the village has embarked in earnest on fund-raising.  The annual beating of the Bounds walk on May 6 raised over four hundred pounds, some donations have been made, the Whitton Team of churches has offered support and the church council are busy applying for grants.

The next village event in aid of the appeal is Baydon Open Gardens, to be held on Saturday July 6 from 11am to 3pm.  There will be sixteen gardens, the allotments, the ARK (Action for the River Kennet) water garden, a glass studio and an art studio open to visitors.  The cost is £5, accompanied children are free.

There will be an organ recital in the church and refreshments on sale in the school. The event is being organised by Helen Chambers.

There is a GoFundMe account if you would like to make a donation - click here 

For more information please contact Church Warden:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

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