FUNDS to restore a church roof targeted by vandals twice this year are nearing the halfway point following a community appeal.
Generous folk have rallied around to raise nearly £50,000 in just a few short months after thieves ripped lead from Hatfield Church’s roof on two separate occasions.
Those thefts back in July and September led to the church congregation needing to find £130,000 to pay for repairs because the missing lead left the Grade-I listed building exposed to rain which damaged the inside.
However, the vicar of Hatfield’s St Lawrence Church, Paul Wilson, launched a ‘Raise the Roof Appeal’ which saw the community, Hatfield Church Building Trust, the Friends of Hatfield Church Building Trust and Hatfield Church Parochial Church Council come together in order to boost coffers.
Events including rock ‘n’ roll themed nights, fashion shows, quizzes, coffee evenings and even an after-dinner fundraiser held by former Yorkshire cricketer Mike Cowan which have all helped get the total to just shy of the halfway mark.
Cath Watson, committee chairman of the Hatfield Church Building Trust, said: “We have had a number of fundraisers after launching the appeal, the response was overwhelming.
“We leafleted all of the neighbouring areas such as Hatfield Woodhouse and Finningley telling people about the appeal. Since then a number of people have been in touch to say they wanted to help out in some way.
“We’re really pleased with everyone’s efforts so far.
“Thankfully the roof is now water-tight so it’s not being damaged in the bad weather and this week the structure will be going up outside.”
Hatﬁeld Church Parochial Church Council has agreed to replace the lead with terne coated stainless steel after advice from the church architect because it has a lower scrap value than lead and is more difficult to remove.
Residents are also invited to the next fundraiser to help the appeal which is a charity concert.
South Yorkshire Police Band and Choir will be taking centre stage for the evening at the 12th century church off Station Road.
There will be a buffet supper on offer during the concert which will be held on Saturday, November 26, from 7.30pm.
People can buy their tickets, costing £10 each, by calling either Cath Watson on 01302 842163 or Angela Lister on 01302 884848.
For more details about the Raise the Roof appeal, visit www.raisetheroofappeal.org.uk