St Mary’s Church in Sedgeford has been closed for six months while undergoing major repairs and a modern refurbishment with the help of a £228,000 grant from the Heritage Lottery fund.
Project architect Denis Tuttle and contractor Nigel Coverdale helped celebrate the completion of work this week when an official handover event was held.
Now the church will be throwing open its doors to the public for the first time in six months, as part of the village’s charity open gardens event on Sunday.
It will be a chance for people to see the makeover, and also enjoy some beautiful gardens, cake, card and gift stalls, and a raffle.
The church is also planning a summer of celebration, with several exhibitions and tours in the pipeline.
The first exhibition will be of drawings and photographs of the works that have taken place along with two guided tours, on Friday and Saturday, June 24 and 25, both at 10.30am.
Before the renovation got under way in October, the Grade 1-listed church was on the English Heritage ‘at risk’ register and in urgent need of repair. But the renovation project, which carried on from extensive repairs to the north side of the church in 2011, has secured its future for many years to come.
Work included repairs to the south transept roof and south porch, and repairs to the rood stair with a reinstated platform with views to the south aisle and nave.
Rotting joists under the pew floor have been repaired or replaced, and pew heating installed. Some pews were also removed from the south side of the church to make way for a new community area with exhibitions and a café, and new facilities include a disabled toilet.
Walls have also been replastered and painted.
Churchwarden Pam Goddard said: “The church has been closed for six months and we are excited to be back again. We look forward to welcoming everyone back into our beautifully refurbished church.”