St Mary’s in Yarmouth is offering an opportunity to ‘Sponsor a Slate’ as part of essential work to replace concrete tiles on the church roof.
The parish has received a grant for repairs but has to pay around £125,000 as its contribution to new roof.
When someone sponsors a slate, they can add a message that will be written in white permanent marker pen and placed on the roof. The slate and message will be put into the form of a digital book and made available online for future generations.
Over the last two years, St Mary’s has received £446,730 in funding for the roof from the Bishop’s Conference of England and Wales, which in turn received a grant from Historic England.
The building has not just broken and missing tiles, but also displaced beams, cracks in the walls and internal damage due to leaks. Some of the tiles which have come off are above the organ loft, and water has been coming in, threatening the valuable organ.
The original slate tiles over the nave, as well as over the chancel and side chapels at the western end, were replaced by concrete tiles in the 1960s. The excessive weight of these has displaced beams supporting the roof.
A film crew from Historic England has made a video about the re-roofing project which you can watch here.
Picture: Bishop Alan Hopes holding a slate with his signature, with Brian Laffferty, treasurer of St Mary’s Great Yarmouth.