Cornwall

Church concerns in St Buryan

Image caption More than £140,000 still has to be raised for urgent repairs

There's concern over the future of a popular place of worship in west Cornwall.

More than £140,000 has to be raised for urgent repairs to St Buryan church roof, before the end of 2011.

That's despite a grant of more than £100,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The vicar of St Buryan, Reverend Brin Berriman, says if the money isn't found, the church will have to fall into disuse.

The present Church of St Buryan is a late 15th century Church of England parish church.

But a church has stood on the current site since c. 930.

St. Buryan is recorded in the Domesday book as Eglosburrie.

Translated it means the church of St Burian.

King Athelstan is said to have endowed this church in honour of an Irish saint called St Buriana.

Image caption The church dates from the late 15th century

But despite its rich history, the future is looking uncertain.

Reverend Brin Berriman says while he is confident the money will be found for the repairs, maintaining all the other expenses will be very difficult.

"It's quite easy to get money for buildings, but finding money for the electricity, heating, the insurance, maintaining a priest is much more difficult.

"We mustn't lose sight of the fact that beyond maintaining the building we also have to maintain the life of the church."

The news comes on the week The Heritage Lottery Fund and English Heritage announced more than £479,000 to six Grade I and II listed places of worship across Devon and Cornwall.

St Buryan Church has received £105,000. It is one of three churches to receive the money. But the estimate for the church repair work is near to a quarter of a million pounds.

Reverend Berriman says: "If we haven't got sufficient funds assured or in the bank by the end of the year when we're invited to sign the contract, we won't be able to do it."

Locals in St Buryan are already planning fundraising events.

Other churches in Cornwall which have received grants are St James Church in Jacobstow which has been awarded £42,000 and St Stithians Church in Stithians which will receive £28,000.

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