The ambitious project to save the spire of Grantham’s landmark parish church could reach a double milestone in the next few days.
As the stunning photograph above by Roger Graves reveals, workmen have reached a key stage in the work, completing the removal of the top section of the 86m high damaged spire this week.
And it has been revealed the £600,000 fund-raising target to pay for the work could be on the brink of being reached.
The spire has been clad in scaffolding since July, when work began on restoring the third highest parish church spire in the country.
After the top 40ft is fully removed, work can begin on repairing and rebuilding it, replacing corroded cast iron ties with stainless steel.
The turning point in the project could coincide with an equally significant point in the effort to fund the project.
The St Wulfram’s Save Our Spire fund-raising campaign has received wonderful support from local people and earlier this summer it was within £10,000 of the £600,000. Appeal chairman Jean Parker said this week the target was now well below that figure.
Among the upcoming events which could push it over the line is the sale of an ornate Indian tapestry, donated to the appeal by a Grantham benefactor who wishes to remain anonymous.
Mrs Parker said: “We’ve been thrilled by the generosity of people and organisations in Grantham. With the appeal in its final stages, this could be the final donation that brings us up to our target.”
The early 20th century tapestry is hand-worked predominantly in gold braid and is decorated with doves and snakes.
It will be sold at Golding Young’s auction rooms in Wharf Road on Wednesday, September 3.
Colin Young, from Golding Young said: “I have known the people involved in the appeal for years and we have been a proud supporter of the church. I’m really looking forward to raising the most we can for the tapestry on sale day and helping them reach their final total.”
People can see the tapestry wall-hanging between 10am and 4pm at the auction room from tomorrow (Saturday) until Monday.
But even after the target is reached, the fund-raising must continue, said Mrs Parker. She said: “We can never be entirely precise about the costs of ongoing work, and we need to build a reserve to carry out vital maintenance on other parts of the church which we have had to set aside while concentrating on the spire.”