VITAL work to fix the roof of Holy Rood Church is nearing completion thanks to the generosity of its parishioners.

Last year, the church launched an appeal to raise funds to fix a leaky roof, as well as the failed heating and lighting systems which were making services a struggle for those in attendance, especially during the winter months.

Once the first amount of money was raised, work began and the roof renovation is now entering its final stages.

Canon John Cunningham said: “The roof is not quite finished but it is more than 90 per cent completed. Hopefully within a couple of weeks it should be completed, assuming the weather holds off.

“The original part of the church only needed a small amount of work but the newer part, built in 1971, had lots of leaks so almost the entire of that part of the roof has been replaced.

“It should mean we no longer have major leaks. A brand new lighting system has been fitted which will make a big difference. The new heating wasn’t fitted until after the winter so we haven’t had chance to test it yet but hopefully the church should be a lot more comfortable.”

The total cost of the works will be in the region of £450,000, with just over £100,000 of that raised so far. Rev Cunningham says he has been overwhelmed with what people have given so far.

He said: “Although we now appear to be coming out of the recession, when we launched the appeal people were still struggling so to raise this amount is absolutely fantastic.

“It has been raised through a mixture of fundraising events and some private donations. I want to say thank you to all the parishioners who helped as well as those who have moved away but still helped because they feel close to Holy Rood.

“We are still looking for something in the region of £300,000 so fundraising is still going on. Some of the money will come from savings but we won’t be using it all because we need to have some in the pot for a rainy day, so to speak.”

The next big fundraising event will be later this month when Goan group, Hanv Khuxal Asam will be putting on several shows at the Wyvern Theatre. There will be two shows on June 29, the first starting at 1.30pm and the other at 6pm.

The proceeds of the event will go into the Building Fund.

Ticket details are available from all contact names on the poster on the noticeboard outside the church.