Woodpeckers turn Essex church spire into 'sieve'

All Saints Church in Stisted A grant of £197,700 has been awarded for urgent repairs at All Saints in Stisted

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Woodpeckers have left a church spire looking like a "sieve" and needing £200,000 worth of repairs.

Churchwarden Patricia Bash said the birds had pecked their way through the spire of All Saints in Stisted, near Braintree in Essex.

The Grade I listed church has been given a grant of £197,700 by the Heritage Lottery Fund to make the building watertight.

Ms Bash said the money was "the best present we could have hoped for".

"It has been looking like a sieve, so we are really pleased to have this money," she said.

All Saints Church in Stisted The HLF said the repairs will allow the congregation to "sit comfortably once more" on dry pews

She added that the holes in the roof had allowed jackdaws to get into the spire.

A spokeswoman said the HLF would "work with a specialist buildings archaeologist to research the church's history and Natural England to ensure the preservation of bats".

She added that the repairs would also allow "wet pews [to] dry out so the congregation can sit comfortably once more".

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