Church hit by spring storms

WHEN the heavens opened and the spring dry spell broke, an Ipswich church was left counting the cost.The congregation at St. Thomas' Church in Bramford Lane knew that their roof needed attention.

By Paul Geater

WHEN the heavens opened and the spring dry spell broke, an Ipswich church was left counting the cost.

The congregation at St. Thomas' Church in Bramford Lane knew that their roof needed attention.

But the storms of the last few days showed just how bad it was – and now the church has to find £20,000 urgently to plug the leaks.

For now all vicar Father Paul Bourner can do is keep changing the buckets in the north aisle of the church, which was built in 1938.

But he is confident that the community that looks to the church will help it meet the challenge it is facing.

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"The church is here for the whole community of Whitehouse and I am confident the work will be completed," said Mr Bourner.

"The church is much more than the building itself – but that is a very important resource for the community.

"It's used by people whether they come every day, every week, once a month to our community services, or just occasionally.

"It's used by local schools for big events or for pupils learning about Christianity."

The church holds regular fund-raising events – and these have been given extra emphasis by the problems with the roof.

On Saturday it's holding a table-top sale between 10am and 1pm to raise funds. Anyone wanting to book a £5 pitch should contact treasurer Daphne Startup on 01473-742036.

"That's part of what we need to do here, but it's really about building a community – the members of St. Thomas Church will rally around and see us through this.

"In a sense we are lucky this isn't a small rural parish with an ancient church – that would cost much more to repair," said Mr Bourner.