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Silence to be broken when bells toll again

AN ANCIENT church will be ringing in the changes next year, when its bells sound once again.

AN ANCIENT church will be ringing in the changes next year, when its bells sound once again.

St Edburgha’s Church, in Yardley, was silenced because of fears about the ageing spire.

But now it has been given an £83,000 grant to start repairing the 13th century building.

The money, from English Heritage, will allow work to begin in the spring - but £800,000 is still needed to rebuild the crumbling bell tower.

Tim Johnston, from the conservation charity, said: “Places of worship form a priceless part of our region’s heritage.

“Unfortunately the maintenance of this legacy poses some tough challenges, so these grants are vital in boosting fund raising.”

Named after Alfred the Great’s granddaughter, St Edburgha is the second oldest church in Birmingham - only St Martin’s, in the Bullring, has stood for longer.

But the centuries have taken their toll and an appeal was launched last year to make the church’s future secure.

So far the congregation have drummed up £32,000 through donations and fund raising events.

They are hopeful that enough money can be raised to press on with the remainder of repairs, once the first phase is complete.

The Grade 1 listed building is one of several historic sites to receive a boost from English Heritage.

Last week, the organisation announced that it was dishing out £1.9m to places of worship across the West Midlands.

 

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