Dorset

Charminster church holds first service since 2014 floods

St Mary the Virgin in Charminster Image copyright Mike Searle
Image caption The block wood flooring in St Mary the Virgin church has been replaced with stone paving

A service has been held at a Grade I listed church in Dorset for the first time since it was hit by floods two years ago.

St Mary the Virgin, in Charminster, was flooded with more than 1ft (30cm) of water in January 2014.

About £100,000 worth of damage was caused to the building.

Repairs to the church, including a replacement floor, have now been completed. It will be officially reopened on 3 April.

Image copyright Laurence Herdman
Image caption The church closed following the flooding in January 2014 and services were held in the village hall

The Easter Sunday service was the first to be held in the church since its closure.

Services had been held in the village hall following the flooding.

Image caption More than 1ft (30cm) of water flooded the church in January 2014

Church warden John Pearson, who had only been in the post for three months when the building flooded, said: "It's nice to be the church warden as opposed to village hall warden."

He said the church was "in fine fettle - warm and welcoming" following the replacement of its Victorian block wood flooring with stone paving.

The church will be officially reopened at a thanksgiving service on 3 April which will be led by the Bishop of Sherborne, Rt Revd Karen Gorham.

A listed 16th Century bridge, blamed for the flooding in the village, reopened in October after being rebuilt.

Image caption A new floor has been installed as part of the repairs to St Mary the Virgin church after the flood

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