Delays to repairs on the spire of St Wulfram’s Church mean that about another £42,000 will be needed to pay for the work.
The rector of St Wulfram’s, Father Stuart Cradduck, says it has come as a huge blow to him and the fund-raisers who had hoped the work would have been finished by the end of last year and within the £600,000 budget.
Fr Stuart said: “We are predicting a possible shortfall of up to £42,000 which has come as a huge blow to those who have worked so hard to ensure that funding is in place.
“The funding of such an enormous undertaking has been a real testament to the character of the people of Grantham to preserve such an important landmark building both locally and nationally, and if it were not for the unpredictable difficulties in dismantling the spire the whole job would have been paid for and nearly complete.”
It is costing the church about £2,000 a week to hire the scaffolding.
The delay in the work is mainly as a result of the cement grout and mortar used when the spire was last repaired in 1946. This means it has taken longer to dismantle the spire than was predicted. Each stone has to be cut away from the surrounding stones and then skimmed once on the ground.
Fr Stuart said: “The stone ‘crockets’, the ‘nobbly’ bits which run up the eight sides of the spire, the finial stones and weather vane are the last pieces which need to be replaced and the precise timescale depends entirely on what weather conditions we encounter over the coming weeks.”
Over the next week, the parochial church council will be discussing what action to take to address the shortfall.
Fr Stuart added: “Although the general feeling is that we shouldn’t fully re-open the appeal after the immense generosity that people have shown to the church, we do need to address how this money will be found.”
When the work is completed, the church will offer tours of the spire for one week only, subject to the weather, and it is hoped this will help raise money towards the shortfall. People can still buy a piece of the spire and the appeal’s My Donate page is still available for people to give to the appeal at mydonate.bt.com/charities/stwulframsspireappeal