Charminster's flood-hit church fundraising begins

  • 17 June 2014
  • From the section Dorset
Media captionSusan Pearson, whose husband, Jonathan, is a church warden, said Parish Church of St Mary the Virgin, Charminster had been battered by the bad weather

Fundraising has begun to help pay for repairs to a Grade I-listed church in Dorset that was damaged during floods.

St Mary's Church, in Charminster, was left with 10in (25cm) of standing water inside, after the River Cerne burst its banks in January.

The work, estimated to cost £50,000, includes repairs to its 11th Century internal stone columns.

The Reverend Pete Stone, said insurance and grants would cover some costs, but £30,000 still needed to be raised.

Image caption Work will include repairing the church's 11th Century internal stone columns and its Victorian parquet flooring

Services are currently being held in the village hall.

'Totally devastating'

Chestnut House Nursing Home, in Charlton Down, is holding two events on 5 July at the home and Wolfedale Golf Club, in Charminster, to help raise some of the cash.

Manager Michelle Ellis described the church as "the heart of the community" and said it was important to get it reopened because it provided a "lifeline" for many of the home's 85 residents, who use it regularly.

Image caption A grade II listed bridge in the village has been blamed for the flooding

Mrs Ellis, who got married at the church in April 2012, said: "It's absolutely beautiful and to see it flooded was just totally devastating.

"This is our way of giving something back to the church which literally means everything to us."

A nearby grade II-listed bridge in the village has been blamed for the flooding at the church and nearby homes, which the Environment Agency said could be demolished and replaced next year.

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