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Film is in-spired

PUBLISHED: 18:05 17 April 2004 | UPDATED: 04:47 02 March 2010

A VICAR is making a film in a bid to inspire his parishioners into saving a crumbling church tower.

Nigel Hartley, parish priest of Great Finborough's St Andrew's Church, hopes the capturing the plight of the spire on camera will help raise the £70,000 needed to save it.

A VICAR is making a film in a bid to inspire his parishioners into saving a crumbling church tower.

Nigel Hartley, parish priest of Great Finborough's St Andrew's Church, hopes the capturing the plight of the spire on camera will help raise the £70,000 needed to save it.

The Victorian building has been deteriorating over the past 80 years and is now in a dangerous state.

Mr Hartley said: "The ironwork that provides the skeleton is rusting and the structure is therefore weakening.

"Some of the masonry at higher levels is in danger of collapse. Some is potentially life-threatening and we have to do something about it."

A 15-minute video was produced last year by Mr Hartley - a professional film producer with ten years experience at the BBC - but is now being adapted to focus on the repairs needing to be carried out.

Mr Hartley said: "In the end it comes down a to a stark choice. Are we going to inspire people to keep the church intact or will the church gradually expire as a building?

"The spire is a landmark not just for the village but for miles around and it's vital we keep it. We need to capture the imagination of the people of Suffolk and hopefully the video will do that."

The film will highlight the parts of the tower that are in need of repair that are not easily visible to the naked eye.

It will be shown at the annual meeting of the church, which is being held on Wednesday.

It is hoped businesses and individuals in the village will rally round to boost the restoration fund.

Paul Marks, owner of Chaplins, a general store and post office in the centre of the village, has already pledged his support.

He said: "Whether you have a religious conscience or not, the church is important for the long term of the survival of the village.

"The church is very important to keep the village together and it's vital we make people aware of how urgent these repairs are."

Mr Hartley added: "The work is now becoming urgent and it's time to grasp the nettle. Because no money has been spent on maintaining it in the past, we're now faced with a bill that's enormous.

"If we don't something now the problem will get significantly worse."

Anyone wishing to make a donation can do so by contacting church warden Lesley Cass 01449 675970 or Trudy Gray 01449 674819.

N Do you know of a landmark which needs saving? Write in to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or email eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk or visit the forum at www.eveningstar.co.uk


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