Church roof repair helps answer ministers’ prayers

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URGENT roof repairs on two local churches are to be carried out thanks to awards of more than £91,000.

St John’s and King’s Park Church Hall in Dalkeith is set to benefit from a £66,600 grant towards repairs to the hall roof, while St Mary’s Scottish Episcopal Church has been awarded £25,000 to replace corroded lead work.

Both grants have been awarded by the WREN Heritage Fund, which helps to protect Grade A and B listed buildings and structures of historical importance across the UK.

A £140,000 roof restoration project at St Mary’s is being undertaken to prevent further water damage to the building, which was built in 1843. Other funding has been awarded by Historic Scotland, the Scottish Churches Architectural Heritage Trust, and the church’s own fundraising efforts.

Rev Peter Harris of St Mary’s said: “These repairs are stage three of a five-stage programme, and once the roof work is complete we will look at sorting out the crumbling stonework.

“We’re very thankful for this contribution from WREN, however, it will take a few hundred thousand pounds to bring the building up to scratch. It’s a bit like fighting fire with fire.”

At St John’s and King’s Park, a major overhaul of the hall roof is required to prevent water ingress.

Rev Keith Mack said: “The church hall is such an important asset to the community. We have many groups using the space, from church groups, to yoga classes and mother and toddler groups.

“We’re delighted to have secured funding from WREN and that work will soon be underway to protect this valuable facility.”