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Last Updated: Sunday, 24 August, 2003, 15:27 GMT 16:27 UK
Collapse fear over church roof
Kendal Parish Church, the Church of Angels - freefoto.com
Kendal Parish Church is Grade I listed
A historic parish church in Cumbria needs more than 250,000 to prevent the roof from falling in.

The problem at the 800-year-old Kendal Parish Church is worst over a chapel on the southern side where a leaky gutter is threatens to close an entire aisle.

The Rev Canon Ron Metcalfe said he hoped their "Roof Rescue" fundraising campaign would help foot the hefty repair bill.

He said if the repair work was not done soon, the five aisle church - which is one of the widest in the country - would have to close the Parr Chapel and south aisle.

Boarding up the chapel would close to the public the family worshipping place of the town's most famous residents - the Parr family - where Henry VIII's last wife, Katherine Parr, is believed to have knelt in prayer.

Uncertain future

It is hoped the repair work would fix the problem at the Grade I listed building by stripping out the old gutter and replacing rotten rafters.

But church warden, Bill Harrison, said the future was far from certain.

He said: "It is getting very, very serious indeed.

"If we are not careful, the roof is going to come down around our ears.

"We are saying we need approximately 250,000, but that is just a start. We don't know where we are going to have to go from there."

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