Cornwall

St Michael's Church in Helston gets new roof

The new roof tiles on a Cornish church are being engraved with the names of the people who have sponsored individual slates.

St Michael's Church in Helston is currently covered in scaffolding.

The grade II listed building will soon be uncovered to reveal its £300,000 new roof.

The slate is from Cornwall to preserve the heritage of the site and it is hoped it will last for at least a century.

'Personal memento'

The rector at St Michael's, Canon David Miller, said: "The urgency of the project was every 100 to 125 years you need a completely new roof. Once slates start slipping you get a lot of damage to the ceiling as well as an ineffective roof.

"There's still some more work to do. The principal work of the contract which is reslating the roof in Cornish slate is completed. There was no possibility of getting anything other than Cornish slate. It's wonderful to see Cornish slate on a Cornish historic building."

The church was built with money from the Earl of Godolphin in the mid 1700s.

It replaced an earlier church that burnt down having been struck by lightning.

Canon Miller said: "People locally have been absolutely wonderful. The response has been fantastic.

"We had the opportunity for people to buy a slate so they can have a personal memento of the roof. Lots of names have been engraved on the slates.

"In 100 years' time when the roof needs replacing, slates will have people's family names on them. It will probably be the case that a lot of those surnames will still be around in Helston in 100 to 125 years' time."

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