Historic Mansfield church set for more repairs - but worshippers still welcome

The vicar of an iconic Mansfield church branded ‘at risk’ has moved to reassure people it is business as usual.

Thursday, 4th November 2021, 3:50 pm
Updated Friday, 5th November 2021, 11:59 am

The Grade II-listed St John’s Church in the centre of Mansfield is on Historic England’s heritage at risk register.

It is rated priority B, with ‘immediate risk of further rapid deterioration or loss of fabric; solution agreed but not yet implemented’ – but this is an improvement on its previous A priority.

The improvement comes after some repairs were carried out.

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Church of St John the Evangelist is in bad condition and needs repairs. Picture: Historic England.

Work has already been undertaken on the nave and chancel roof, thanks to funds from the National Heritage Lottery Fund in 2016, while a Historic England Covid-19 recovery grant of £22,151, awarded last year, went towards spire and tower repairs.

The Reverend Chris Lee, church vicar, said: “We are not in too bad a condition now.

“We used some of the grant money to make some of the bits affected were made safer, there is nothing unsafe about the building as it is at the moment.”

The ‘large urban church’ dates back to 1855-56, with the north porch added circa 1906.

The Reverend Chris Lee

And the at-risk register says: “The chancel and organ chamber and vestry roofs are suffering from nail fatigue and are leaking.

“The structural integrity of the spire – currently strapped – is of particular concern and is being monitored.”

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Temporary fix

However, Mr Lee moved to reassure parishioners it is ‘business as usual’ at the St John Street church.

He said: “Services continue and we really hope people will still drop in and see us or worship with us.

“We’d love people just to come by and see what we are all about, see the building and have a look at the work that has been done so far.

“We will be having more work done, the spire still has ladders and is strapped, it’s a temporary fix, more repairs will be happening in the coming years, costing many thousands of pounds.

“Our spire can be seen on the skyline from miles away, many people are familiar with it.

“If there was someone out there who felt strongly about it, with deep pockets able to help with repair costs, we wouldn’t turn them away.”

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