Cash needed to repair ancient church

THOUSANDS of pounds are desperately needed to replace decaying ancient steps of a Saxon church in Suffolk.

THOUSANDS of pounds are desperately needed to replace decaying ancient steps of a Saxon church in Suffolk.

St Mary's Church in Swilland is attempting to raise the cash required to undertake the important work on the historical structure.

Some of the funds will come from a fun day which due to be held this weekend at the village's Moon and Mushroom pub.

Church treasurer, Ann Kent, said the estimated cost of the work had not yet been made.

However, because a qualified stonemason will have to be found, the restoration is expected to run into thousands.

She said: “The steps go up to the tower where the single bell is.

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“It is one of our priorities. If they were repaired, we could let people go up there on special occasions.

“Health and safety measures at the moment do not allow it.”

The church was thought to be Norman in origin, but work in 2004 exposed features that the diocesan archaeologist advised may date from Saxon times.

The tower with its character and outline is visible for some distance across the fields and countryside.

Its lower parts are thought to date from the late 15th century.

Sunday's fun day will feature attractions for adults and children, including pony rides, bouncy castles and a jazz band. There will be also be merry-go-rounds and traditional pub games.

The event, Fun Day in the Field, takes place from 2pm until 4.30pm, while the evening entertainment, which includes a race night and bar buffet, starts at 8pm.

The proceeds will be split between the church, Age Concern and St Mary's Church at Witnesham.

Are you holding an event for a good cause? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.