I sometimes tend to take our rich history for granted. Every time I sit in a pub having a hearty pint of ale the building around me is probably hundreds of years old, we have castles dotted about the countryside like freckles on the landscape and nearly every village or town boasts a stunning medieval, or older, church. One such church is St. Peters Church in Broadstairs. First built in 1070 St Peter’s is like many churches across the UK in desperate need of funds to save it from ruin. I went along to visit the wonderful people of St. Peters and agreed to help them raise the vital money needed to restore it.
The more you find out about a building, the more you feel linked to it’s past. I’m not religious but couldn’t help being sucked into the fascinating world behind these ancient stone walls. As well as being used as a place of worship for centuries, the church was used as the seat of local government, where wardens collected rates, discussed matters such as the highways and the destruction of vermin! In 1694 it was used as a school for the local poor children and during the Napoleonic wars it was used as a signalling station by the Royal Navy as the church tower was the highest point in Thanet. It still claims the privilege to fly the White Ensign as a result. It has been a vital part of the community for many generations and would be a devastating blow to our nation if this building is not supported financially. However, anything that is nearly 1000 years old needs a lot of maintenance – not helped by the fact that an earthquake in 1580 shook the building so vigorously that the tower cracked! Every ounce of this building has a story to tell – even the dials on the clock are from 1802!
As of 10am on Sunday 9th March the bells in St Peter’s Church were rung for the last time, until the church tower is restored. The last time the bells were silent for so long was during World War 2! Ringing the bells is causing pieces of masonry to fall off the tower, hence the decision to call a halt to a very long standing tradition in the village.
How can you help?
Any donation you can make, however small will be a huge boost to the hard work and fundraising efforts of the local community. It will benefit generations of families for years to come and you can visit the church yourself to find out what needs to be done, when, and how they hope to achieve this mammoth challenge. They really are a super bunch and the church is fabulous!
If you are a business you can sponsor an event or make a donation here.
As an individual you can consider a legacy and/or a gift-aided donation. Find all the details and gift aid form here.
Thank you for your help everyone, it is much appreciated. If you know of anyone who might like to make a donation please do pass on this post x