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Renovation vital to save St Laurence’s in Ludlow
LUDLOW’s historic St Laurence’s Church will not exist in 100 years unless a vital conservation project is successful.
That’s the view of Shaun Ward, clerk of works at the church, who has revealed the full extent of the refurbishment project.
“St Laurence’s has survived the Reformation and The English Civil War but if we do not do this work it will not be here in 100 years,” he said.
And Shaun, has revealed that a £15 million flagship proposal that would have seen the church extended has had to be dropped because of the cost.
The church is a major tourist attraction in Ludlow and is in the early stages of a huge refurbishment that will last many years and ultimately run up a bill of £5 million.
Work on repairing the stained glass at St Laurence’s, one of 45 great churches in the UK, will alone take five years.
Vital repairs that cannot wait have already been ongoing for several years and the next stage that is set to begin almost immediately involves putting in a new heating system.
Initially a gas boiler will be installed but the main task of heating the building from early 2015 will be an This has been evaluated as the best long-term option and will cut running costs that currently stand at £12,500 a year just for gas for heating the building.
A new staged area for concerts and other performances is envisaged but no decision has been made about the seating that may involve replacing the pews.
Included in the blue print for the future is providing new toilet and kitchen facilities.
The shop will be moved and the organ will also be raised. It is planned that there will be a display area to show off local history that will be operated in conjunction with Ludlow Museum.
A memorial for the poet AE Houseman will also be included.
There will be replacement lighting and flooring.
Shaun said a new period of consultation is starting and that the overall objective is to make the church open to the people of Ludlow so it can play a full and relevant role in the life of the town.
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