Page last updated at 12:02 GMT, Sunday, 25 May 2008 13:02 UK

Fire church now cleared of debris

Blaze at St Nicholas' Church, Radford Semele
About 50 firefighters put out the blaze at the church

The vicar of a Warwickshire church which was largely destroyed in a fire said it has been cleared of debris, but there is a "long way to go".

St Nicholas' Church in Radford Semele was gutted in the incident in March.

The church is being scaffolded to make it safe before there are talks over how much of the stone walls will need to come down, Rev Martin Green said.

He said there is "fairly clear evidence" there was a break-in on the night of the fire.

Doomsday Book

"We discovered a memorial stone that should have been outside the church... inside under one of the main windows and underneath all the debris," he said.

"That basically meant the stone had been put through the window before the fire had started.

"There wasn't any evidence of anything stolen in the bits of metal that we found left in the church."

About 50 firefighters put out the fire at the church, parts of which date back to the time of the 11th Century Doomsday Book.

Mr Green said work to make the building safe should take another two or three weeks.

He said: "After that it's the kind of negotiations to try to work out how much of the stone walls will need to come down and be restored and then new design for the interior."

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