The Parish Church of St. John the Baptist, Misson

In June 2007, a milkman delivering milk around the village between 3am and 4am realised that a vehicle parked by the church looked rather suspicious. On closer inspection he saw a ladder propped up against the north side of the church and some men on the roof of the nave who, seeing that they had been discovered, decided that they would leave in a hurry, empty handed. They had managed to roll up panels of the lead roofing and had dropped them to the ground below, along with quite a lot of the copper lightning conductor. They had also caused damage to the roofing felt which covered the roofs to both the north and south side aisles.

Once we had recovered from that shock, our next move was to find that just to re-cover the three roofs in lead would cost well in excess of £100,000. We therefore asked our architect to look at other types of roofing materials, and settled upon terne coated stainless steel, which was then approved by the DAC, Bassetlaw District Council and English Heritage.

We were fortunate to have funds in our restoration account from past legacies, but it was obvious that we were really going to struggle to pay for the repairs without outside help. Of the grant making bodies we approached, three agreed to support us, one of which was Nottinghamshire Historic Churches Trust who awarded us a grant of £5,000, for which we have been most grateful.

During the repairs, live infestations of death watch beetle and woodworm were discovered which, thankfully, the contractors were able to eradicate and, finally, in October 2010, the work was finished. We are now completely waterproof, have a new lightning conductor, and have been able to install a beamed roof alarm. We are also very grateful that we still have a milkman delivering to our doorsteps in the early hours!

Elizabeth Johnson and Anne Rowe


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