FUNDRAISERS have already managed to raise £400,000 to fund the new roof for Holy Rood Church, and now work is well under way.

More than a year ago the church in Groundwell Road, which is one of the largest in Swindon, launched an appeal to help raise £1m to repair a leaky roof and make other improvements to the buildng.

Work on the roof of the 1971 extension, which had let water into the main body of the church for the past few years, began late last year.

There are also plans to replace the underfloor heating and install much brighter lights to meet modern requirements, before eventually redecorating the whole building.

But the Rev Canon John Cunningham, parish priest at Holy Rood, is still calling on the generosity of the public to raise the money for the rest of the improvements, which will cost in total £1m.

He said: “We have now started the work on the roof and so far we have raised around £400,000, which is absolutely birlliant particulalrly in this economic climate. Hopefully it will be coming to an end soon.

“A lot of people and parisioners have put a lot of hard work into fundraising the money by doing various little fundraising events, like table top sales, plant sales and we have had donations from individuals.

“We also had a parish church fair to help raise the money.

“We just have to keep the hard work up to try and raise the rest.”

The money will be divided between the various projects, with £300,000 going to pay for the roof, £150,000 for the underground heating and the lighting expected to cost between £75,000 and £100,000.

Thousands of pounds more are expected to be spent on redecorating.

Canon Cunningham said: “It will make the church building fit for the 21st century.

“Previous generations have looked after the building with tender loving care and we want to leave the building in a fit state for future generations to come.

“I think it’s a challenge to raise £1m and obviously we aren’t going to make it quickly but over a period of time I’m absolutely sure the Lord will provide if that’s what He wants.”

To make a donation call 01793 522062 or holyrood@cliftondiocese.