Progress on St Laurence's renovation project

Ludlow Advertiser: St Laurence’s Church, pictured above, dates back to 1199 and is one of 24 ‘great’ parish churches in the UK. It attracted 60,000 visitors in 2011. St Laurence’s Church, pictured above, dates back to 1199 and is one of 24 ‘great’ parish churches in the UK. It attracted 60,000 visitors in 2011.

LUDLOW’S St Laurence’s Church will be hidden in a shroud of scaffolding for most of the year.

But it will mean that work will have finally started on the refurbishment that has been scaled back from the original scheme.

The church will be submitting a major bid for to English Heritage later in the year but first major repairs that cannot wait must be completed, and this is where the focus will be in 2013.

Initially the work will involve the completion of repairs to historic fittings, roofing and high level stonework.

The Conservation Trust of St Laurence has promised over £150,000 for this work that will be topped up with an initial £85,000 from English Heritage leaving just a further £39,000 to be raised to ensure that phase can be completed.

However, a scheme that would have involved moving g raves and adding another new building has been dropped.

It has been decided that this would be too costly and would fall beyond the scope of the English Heritage remit to conserve.

But there will still be an ambitious project with a price tag of an estimated £4 million after the first phases are finished.

Work on the longer term element will include conservation of stained glass, monuments, misericords, organ, chancel roof textiles, all paintings and tower masonry.

A new heating and lighting system as well as a learning area would also be included.

“This is a pivotal moment in the history of one of England’s finest churches,”

said The Rector of Ludlow Colin Williams.

“Everyone at St Laurence’s is very grateful to those who have given us financial support so far.

“I invite all who are part of the community to join us in ensuring that we can conserve and repair our parish church so that the generations that come after us in Ludlow can continue to enjoy all that it offers so that our parish church, admired as it is throughout the world, can continue to bring worldwide fame to our town.”

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