Monday, October 19, 2009

900 year old church in Southampton needs £200,000

The Church of St.Mary's, Swaythling, in Southampton, England, is looking to raise £200,000 in order to start repairs to the medieval landmark.

The 900 year old church, the second oldest in Southampton and even mentioned in the Domesday Book, has water seeping through its walls which may cause its tower to collapse.

The church's vicar, Gary Philbrick, said in a published report “If it’s going to last another 900 years work has got to be done to keep it water tight.”

Other needed repairs also are to be made for the roof and the Norman doors.

An initiative to help fund the urgent work on the Grade I building has just been launched.

The vicar is urging everyone with any connection to the church to join a group so they can keep up-to-date with news and unite together to protect its future.

Friends of St Mary’s group will mean members pay an annual subscription fee, which will include invitations to special events and the delivery of newsletters.

Rev Philbrick, said: “We hope all the people who share memories of the church from each generation join the Friends and carry on supporting the beautiful building for generations to come.”

Churchwarden Jenny Hales echoed the vicar’s thoughts. She said: “Because of its age it needs to be secure. We hope that we can do it because it is tucked out of the way like a little oasis. It is so calm and we get a lot of wildlife in the churchyard.”

To join the Friends call 023 8046 3848 and to donate, send a cheque made payable to the Parish of Swaythling at St Mary’s Project, The Vicarage, 357 Burgess Road, Southampton, SO18 3BD.