St Mary’s damaged by flooding


Church announces heavy rain has caused damage to the vestry, toilets and church organ

St Mary’s Church in Banbury has been damaged by flooding.   The eighteenth century building was affected by heavy rains overnight on June 17th.   The church has now announced that during this storm rain water got in and caused severe damage to the church organ.

The water also brought the ceiling down in two places in the clergy vestry.   Water from the vestry went through the floor and flooded the toilets below.

St Mary’s church organ dates back to 1765.   It has been modified several times over the years but was still in good working order.   During the flood the force of the water on the roof above the organ loft swept debris into the hopper.   This couldn’t cope and resulted in water pouring into the organ loft which became saturated.   This area is made of wood and leather which will take months to dry out.

St Mary’s say an organ specialist has assessed the damage and hopes to begin work to repair the damage in October and November this year, but work is unlikely to be completed until early next year.

All affected areas are covered by the church’s insurance but work to carry out the repairs can not start until the drying out process has completed.

St Mary’s only recently reopened for private prayers, alongside other places of worship as coronavirus lockdown restrictions were relaxed.   Full services have not yet resumed.

Four years ago work to repair the roof and gutters over the choir vestry and chancel were completed and this protected those areas of the church against the rain.

St Mary’s say, “Please pray for the church and all those who will be working to restore it”.   The church will still be open at the given times for private prayer.

Published: by Banbury FM Newsteam

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