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Community effort replaces rotten floor at St Andrew's Church, in Bolam
A COMMUNITY effort in a village with only 30 houses has raised £8,000 in 18-months to replace its damaged church floor.
Residents in Bolam set up the Friends of St Andrew’s Church group last April after their village church’s floor fell victim to wet rot and needed replacing, which would cost around £10,000.
They received £2,000 from the Northumbrian Historic Churches Trust and £850 from the Durham Diocese Board of Finance, but raised the rest of the money themselves through fundraising events such as table top sales, a garden party, murder mystery evening, flower demonstration, quiz night and golf days.
A jazz night and fish and chip supper which took place last weekend is thought to have raised more than £400.
Roz Blacklock, chairwoman of the group, said prior to the floor replacement, no other work had been carried out on the building since 2000.
She said: “The wet rot presented itself as a big hole in the floor. We are a very small village and there are very few church goers but we recognised, as a village, that the church would be better put to use as a community building.
“It has been a great unifying thing.”
Villagers helped to remove pews from the building, which are currently being stored in a nearby barn while the replacement floor is laid, and they will be varnished by the farmer who owns the outbuilding before being reinstalled.
Another villager has taken the old wood from the building to make into sticks, which he will sell in aid of the initiative.
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