St. Swithun’s church, East Retford
Emergency tower repairs (grant allocated in September 2007 and June 2008)
A grant of £4,500 was awarded in September 2007 to enable this church to carry out emergency repairs to the towers. The church has eight towers in total, each with a pinnacle weighing half a ton, so when it was discovered that several of the pinnacles had twisted and were in danger of collapse the church immediately arranged for scaffolding cradles to be erected to support them. Mr John Coates, Churchwarden, explained that they hoped to be able to keep the pinnacles cradled like this until they began a major project to deconsecrate part of this very large church and turn it into a community resource centre, incorporating the repair of the towers into that scheme. However, the weather got the better of St Swithun’s and it became essential that the work was done immediately, leaving the church facing the decision of whether to remove the pinnacles altogether, or have them repaired and reinstated. Mr Coates says that the Nottinghamshire Historic Churches Trust’s grant was a key factor in their decision to repair and reinstate as they simply could not have afforded to do so otherwise, and everyone at St Swithun’s is very grateful that the appearance of their magnificent church has been maintained.