December 13 2013 Latest news:
Thursday, October 10, 2013
A bell tower at a historic church in Leaden Roding, home to the oldest church bell in Essex, is moving closer to being repaired thanks to the efforts of a charity walker.
Philip Sutterby marched 26 miles from Chelmsford to Maldon, and back again, last month and raised £800 to put towards the project to restore the tower at St Michael’s Church.
And he was overwhelmed by the support he received from the community.
Mr Sutterby, who is chairman of the Leaden Roding Walking Club, said: “The walk went very well indeed and I could not have asked for better weather. The last four to five miles were challenging but I knew I had walked a fair few miles by that point.
“I was just totally overwhelmed with the support and the generosity of the people in the village. I was not expecting to make that much. I feel I have done my bit to help now as it is so important to keep these churches open and it is an uphill struggle.
“Hopefully now other people might come up with other ideas for raising funds.”
The bell tower has been damaged by birds such as woodpeckers. The church committee hope to clear the tower of debris so they will be able to ring the bells properly.
Speaking about Mr Sutterby’s walk, church warden David Tregunno said: “It is fantastic, especially as I am a member of the Friends of St Michael’s.
“They will be delighted with this as the money will go towards the money needed to repair the bell tower.”