‘Now it’s our generation’s turn to maintain Sidmouth’s parish church’

SVA president Handel Bennett, architect John Scott, churchwarden Professor Brian Golding, Reverend C

SVA president Handel Bennett, architect John Scott, churchwarden Professor Brian Golding, Reverend Canon Dr Philip Bourne and stone masons John and Jack Mayne - Credit: Archant

Britain’s oldest civic society has donated £14,500 to Sidmouth’s weather-worn parish church for essential masonry repairs.

The Sid Vale Association (SVA) joined other organisations in supporting the 800-year-old property with a grant from the Keith Owen Fund.

SVA president the Reverend Handel Bennett said: “Sidmouth’s heritage is important to us for the future of the town. The building has been maintained by past generations.

“Now it’s the turn of our generation to replace new stone where the old has crumbled, particularly on the southern wall and in the 500-year-old tower.

“In addition to the long-term benefits of conservation, it is also a matter of safety that the work is completed swiftly.”

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Thanking the SVA, the Reverend Canon Dr Philip Bourne said: “In addition to the many regular religious services, the building is increasingly used as a place in which to meet.

“Members of the local community and visitors can hold or attend meetings, take part in musical or choral concerts, view exhibitions, join in science festival and folk festival events, or listen to Sidmouth Town Band, etc.

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“The acoustics have attracted both the ISCA orchestra and Sidmouth Music to make it their preferred venue.

“We welcome this award from the SVA, and hope others will also be encouraged to help us in this community effort.”

Voluntary organisations looking for a boost from the SVA should visit www.sidvaleassociation.org.uk.

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