£200,000 bill to repair Dunchurch church’s old sandstone

The Rev Malcolm Garrett with Justin Brown at St Peter's
The Rev Malcolm Garrett with Justin Brown at St Peter's

A fundraising drive has been launched after Dunchurch’s St Peter’s church was found to be in need of repairs costing £200,000.

The work needs to take place on the building’s unusual red sandstone walls, which have been eroded due to natural causes.

In September, Justin Brown from Dunchurch will be taking part in the gruelling Wolf Run challenge and agreed that all sponsorship will go to St Peter’s appeal. The Wolf Run is the only wild run in the UK and consists of a 10km run across raw natural terrain, including open ground, woodland, lakes and thick mud.

An application for grant has also been submitted to the Heritage Lottery Fund which works with English Heritage, while a series of fund raising events will take place over the next two years.

Chris Sarson, a member of the church, said: “The church is of great importance to many in the village and those familiar with it will know that St Peter’s is a fantastic building well worth saving for generations to come.”

On September 13 there will be a Heritage Open Day when visitors will be invited to join two guided tours of the church to demonstrate its history.

Much of St Peter’s was built by the monks of Pipewell in the 14th century after the original had burned down. Pipewell was a Roman Catholic Cistercian abbey near Kettering which owned lands and property in Warwickshire. St Peter’s was appropriated in 1175 and owned by the monks until the Dissolution of the Monasteries during the reign of Henry VIII. Every year following the Gunpowder Plot in 1605, a ‘Guy Fawkes peal’ was rung prior to a service of thanksgiving for the preservation of the King’s life.