Urgent appeal to save medieval window ahead of Halesworth church regeneration project

Team rector
Edward Rennar, with regeneration coordinator Emma Healey and Rev Jan Bunday inside St M

Team rector Edward Rennar, with regeneration coordinator Emma Healey and Rev Jan Bunday inside St Mary's Church in Halesworth. PHOTO: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

An urgent appeal has been launched to raise £10,000 to protect the medieval window at a Halesworth church.

The Argentine window, pictured right, which is under threat at St Mary's Church in Halesworth.
PHO

The Argentine window, pictured right, which is under threat at St Mary's Church in Halesworth. PHOTO: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

The group behind the £1.5m regeneration project at St Mary's Church are desperately trying to raise funds to repair the Argentine window, which features the crests of the Argentine family - one of the main benefactors of the building.

Architects say that with the recent freezing temperatures and driving rain, the window could fall in at any time.

Blyth Valley Team Ministry Vicar, the Rev Jan Bunday, said: 'It is our only medieval glass, it's the oldest glass in the church and it is being threatened.

'We want to make the window safe and secure for the future because it is so important to the history of the church.'

St Marys Church in Halesworth.
PHOTO: Nick Butcher

St Marys Church in Halesworth. PHOTO: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher


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The regeneration project aims to make St Mary's more open and accessible for both worship and community use.

Other work, estimated to cost around £70,000, is needed to the guttering and drainage, which has caused damp inside the church, and the group, along with the Friends of St Mary's, are desperately trying to raise the funds.

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Emma Healey, regeneration co-ordinator, said: 'We are monitoring the window and it's a constant worry.

'Halesworth is going to continue to grow and we want to preserve the church for future generations as well as the people who live in the town and surrounding villages now.'

The group has previously been unsuccessful in a bid for Heritage Lottery Funding, which it hoped would cover most of the costs of the main project, and an application to the Roof Repair Fund.

However they are determined to continue applying for grants, and the first phase of the project will get under way in the next three months.

'With the support of an artisan builder and a local business they are helping to remove the pews and create a level space, which starts the process of creating an open area for community use which is more flexible,' said Ms Healey.

'Currently Halesworth is short of a large space where community groups can meet.'

Other improvements planned include installing toilet facilities, running water and underfloor heating.

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