One of Britain's oldest churches faces crisis

One of Britain's oldest churches faces crisis

Francis Batt

One of Britain's oldest churches faces crisis

A historic Saxon village church that survived a major fire four years ago is facing another crisis.

St Peter and St Andrew Parish Church in Church Road, Old Windsor was saved from destruction on Easter Day, 2008 after neighbours called firefighters who battled all morning to stop a roof blaze spreading.

The church was closed for months while the damaged inside areas were restored.

Now a sinister bulge has been spotted where the stonework outside the vestry near the apex is bulging away from the main structure, causing the area to be taped off for safety reasons.

The Alco Construction Company based in the village has been given the job of carrying out repairs at a cost of £4,500.

But the work is likely to add to the pressure on the church's shaky finances.

Verger Peter Warner said: "The trouble is we run from year to year, just about managing to meet the parish share we have to pay but often having to rely on reserves."

Families and businesses in the village will now be asked to contribute to the repair fund. A plant sale and a quiz night have already been organised for May.

The church is one of Britain's oldest, standing on the site of a chapel used by King Edward the Confessor in Saxon times.

Mercenary French soldiers destroyed the original wooden church at the time of King John soon after Magna Carta was signed on nearby Runnymede.

It was rebuilt in its present form in 1218 but has been extensively altered over the centuries.

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