Published: 05 January 2024

Dear Villagers – this is to let you know that your parish church of St Andrew’s, Fontmell Magna, will require some serious ‘tender loving care’ over the next few years. Can you help?

I need not tell you how much our beloved parish church is loved and appreciatedIt is not only the principal building in our village and the focus of Christian worship and witness, it is also the venue for family baptisms, weddings, funerals, and other local and national commemorations. It is used regularly by our village church schoolIt is tenderly loved and tended by so many willing volunteers and is open every day of the year for everyone: a glance at the Visitor’s Book illustrates how the church is valued. We must keep it that way.

What is wrong? Immediate work is needed to the stone parapets on top of the North Aisle (pictured). The stonework is cracking with one of the pinnacles leaning quite noticeably.  Repairs are needed to make these parapets structurally stable. Repairs are also needed to the church roof. The lead is at the end of its serviceable life; being over 120 years old, and work needs to start on the South Aisle, where water has started to come in during heavy downpours. The current estimated cost (capital funds) (this may change) for work on the pinnacles on the North Aisle and the roof of the South Aisle is ‘in the region of’ £200,000, which includes VAT which is reclaimable.

A small group of PCC members, with the support of others, will be applying to grant-making bodies for funds towards this work. But we as a village also need a fundraising campaign and I am sure that villagers will want to help. To that end a Village Meeting, open to all, will be held in the Church on Friday 1 March 2024 at 7 p.m. If you care about our parish church please come along. We shall give more information about the challenge we face in repairing the structure of the building and at the same time seek your fundraising ideas: for instance could you organise an event; do you have social media skills that we could use? We hope that a fundraising group will be formed to lead this campaign and draw up a programme of events.

Keeping the Church’s structure in good order is a major taskHowever, the positive side to this challenge is the scope it gives for our wonderful community to yet again come together and have some fun, whilst at the same time helping to preserve our beloved old church for us and for future generations.

Any questions please do be in contact with me (01747 811070 or

Robert Wellen (Churchwarden – on behalf of the Fontmell PCC).

Picture: North Aisle (reproduced by permission St Ann’s Gate Architects, Salisbury)