The roof is an important part of any building, and the Stable Room roof at St Mary’s Lydiard Tregoze is no exception. This small historic building is at the heart of the church’s community activities but it’s been leaking for some time, putting the future of the church’s community work in jeopardy.
Lydiard Vicar, Revd. Captain Clive Deverell, describes how important the stable building is.
‘ It is the place where our children’s work is centred on Activity Days. Its integral to school visits and the home of our popular Strawberry Teas in summer. It is also our place to meet and share fellowship after services. Securing the future of the room by re-roofing will mean we can continue reaching out to our local community. ’
The church had anticipated the old stone tiled roof could be replaced with cheaper slate tiles, but conservation requirements mean Cotswold stone must be used again. To cope with the price hike, St. Mary’s has launched a fundraising campaign asking people to sponsor a tile for £25. Their target is 300 tiles, enough to replace the roof at a total cost of £32,000. Revd. Clive says:
‘Tiles can be sponsored in your name and in memory of someone else and names will be recorded in a display in the Stable Room. You can also donate anonymously if you prefer. We are immensely grateful for all your donations’
Historically the Stable Room served and as stabling for church goers who arrived on horseback. Most people would have walked across the fields so there was no need for a large building. In contrast the nearby coach house and stables used by the St.John family is relatively substantial.
St. Mary’s Church is Grade I Listed Building and recently underwent a major conservation project, supported by The National Lottery Heritage Fund, The Friends of Lydiard Park and other generous donors. It is widely regarded as one of the most important small parish churches in England on account of its spectacular 17th century monuments to the St.John family and extensive nationally important medieval wall paintings. It remains a worshipping church in the Diocese of Bristol with regular Sunday Services and is a popular venue for weddings.