Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Fire ravaged Hartley Wintney village church reopens

Church of St. Thomas More service Image copyright Portsmouth Dioceseā€
Image caption Bishop Philip Egan consecrated the church and its new altar

A church in Hampshire that lost its roof in a fire last year has celebrated reopening.

The blaze started in a shed at the rear of the Catholic Church of St Thomas More, Hartley Wintney, on 17 May and quickly spread.

Bishop Philip Egan led a service on Tuesday evening and consecrated the church and its new altar.

Firefighters who fought the blaze said they were "honoured to attend the service".

Read more on this and other stories from across the south of England.

Image copyright HFRS
Image caption The church has reopened just over a year after the fire

Six fire engines and an aerial ladder were involved in the effort to tackle the fire.

Villagers also stepped in to help carry heavy wooden pews and bookcases in a bid to save them from the blaze.

Image caption Some of the church windows were blown out in the fire
Image copyright HFRS
Image caption The inside of the church following the fire in May 2016

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