Updated 2018-06-27

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Roof Fund Update - Dec 2017 (Revised 13/01/2018)

In August 2015, a considerable quantity of lead was stolen from the roofs of the south and north aisle of St Mary’s Church, Combs.  The distress caused to the local community, by the desecration of their precious place of worship, was made worse by damage to the internal plaster walls and paintwork resulting from ingress of a considerable quantity of rainwater, which immediately followed the theft of the lead roofing. The terms of the insurance policy were severely limited for the loss of roofing metal.

The rapid response from the local community was uplifting, with donations of money and the loan and fitting of tarpaulins to restrict the amount of rainwater entering the building. A “Raise the Roof Fund” committee was formed. Their sustained effort raised money from a variety of community events.  Further help was also forthcoming from Mid Suffolk District Council, Stowmarket Rotary, the Town Council and the Primary School. With donations from trusts and the generosity of local people, sufficient funding became available to cover the cost of the temporary roof protection works and the installation of a CCTV alarm system and ultimately the internal repairs.

However, significant additional funding was required for the main roof repair and to tackle other high level repairs identified during the 2015 “Quinquennial Inspection”.  We are extremely grateful to the National Heritage Memorial fund and the Listed Places of Worship Roof Repair Fund who pledged a grant of up to £38,000 for this work. This grant along with other available funds made it possible to proceed with the project.

Combs Parochial Church Council is delighted that now, more than two years later, the restoration work is complete including all the internal repairs.

The PCC would like to extend their thanks and enormous gratitude to everyone who contributed and who made this possible, thereby saving our beautiful church.


Roof Fund Update - Sept 2016

Following the theft in August 2015 of about 6 tonnes of lead sheet tiles from the church roof, the Church has been raising funds for the roof repairs.

It is with great pleasure that I can report that the fundraising is complete through the generosity of many people and organisations, but principally through our successful Grant application under the governments Listed Places of Worship Scheme. Work should start in September and the church council is taking the opportunity to make other necessary repairs to the nave roof and clerestory windows. Thank you all.

We are also pleased to report that active Fundraising has begun to restore the 4 medieval bells to ringing order and augment them to 8 in a new frame within the tower.  We await estimates and permissions. More details will appear on this website in due course.

Rev Chris Childs