Melton Mowbray church closes for 10-month renovation

St. Mary's Church, in Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire
Image caption St Mary's is one of the finest parish churches in Leicestershire

A medieval church dating back to 1170 is closing its doors for 10 months for a major refurbishment.

St Mary's Church, one of the largest buildings in Melton Mowbray, will hold its services in various locations around the town including town council's Riverside offices.

Reverend Kevin Ashby said renovations at major churches usually take place "every few hundred years".

The church will reopen in November for the annual remembrance service.

Image caption The Malcolm Sargent organ will be restored aa part of the £2m Heart of St Mary's project

"Every few hundred years major churches like ours need a major refurbishment and this one includes adding under-floor heating, making the church more accessible for disabled and elderly and adding new toilets and new lighting and audio-visual and sound equipment.

"We hope to reopen in November .... but it all depends on what they find under the church floor when they take up the slabs and the stones ... I don't think there will be very many people buried under there as most people were buried out in the church yard years ago - but you just never know."

The renovation will cost an estimated £2m.

The final service before the work started was held on New Year's Day.

Image caption Repairing and renewing the church floor will also be part of the renovation work

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