Church ‘excited’ by restoration

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A RESTORATION project at a Spalding church was completed in time for Easter – and churchgoers will have double reason to celebrate when their new-look building hosts a Royal Wedding screening on Friday.

Urgent repairs costing more than £150,000 have now been completed at St Paul’s Church, in Fulney, and the congregation will be embracing their patriotic side with a live broadcast of Kate Middleton and Prince William’s ceremony this week.

The church lobbied Parliament through MP John Hayes and were delighted when the BBC announced it would grant dispnesation for venues showing the big day so they do not have to pay for a TV licence.

Humph Baker, church volunteer, said: “It really is very exciting to see a church which had so little hope for its future two years ago, back on its feet.

“To crown it all we thought ‘let’s have the royal wedding on live’.

“We got the TV licence through as well so it’s all come through together – I’m so excited.”

The grade one listed church was designed by the renowned Victorian architect Sir George Gilbert Scott, whose most famous work includes the Midland Grand Hotel at St Pancras Station in London, and opened in 1880.

The work has involved replacing unique gutters and downpipes and was funded thanks to grants of £123,000 from English Heritage, £20,000 from the National Trust and £8,000 from the Lincolnshire Churches Trust.

The church itself also raised £11,000 locally and got a further £5,000 from a charitable trust.

The building has stayed open through the project and is now ready for Friday and the Spalding Flower Parade the following day, which passes by it.

Mr Baker added: “With Prince William and Kate marrying in the middle of Spalding’s Flower Festivals, the church for the parish of St Paul’s will be filled with beauty and fragrance.

“Refreshments will be available throughout and the organisers are looking forward to welcoming friends old and new to see the Royal Wedding – and the new gutters.”