Part of an iconic 600 year-old church’s tower has crashed through the historic building’s roof, causing a headache for clergy.
The huge piece of stone tumbled from St John’s Church in the city centre, smashing through the roof.
Now barriers have been put up outside the church to prevent any falling stone injuring residents.
Canon Ian Black said: “The stone fell at some point between October 11 and October 12, in the break in the bad weather.
“It was noticed by the bell ringers, who saw light shining through in an area where it shouldn’t have been.
“Thankfully, it did not fall into the church itself, and was just stopped on the ceiling, so we can still use the church itself.
“A temporary repair has been made, and a steeple jack has been to have a look at the roof. There are some loose bits of stone, which is why we have had to block off the west end of the church on the square, as a matter of urgency.”
The church is already raising money to repair and protect the valuable stained glass windows, after suffering a number of breakages thanks to footballs – and even a traffic cone.
Canon Black said while it was not known how much would need to be raised – but it is likely to be in the tens of thousands of pounds – a further crowd funding campaign was likely to be launched in the future.
He said: “The insurer will pay for the temporary repair, but there will be a lot of work to do.
“Even the scaffolding we will need will be expensive, and it is likely to be a long process.
“We had our regular five yearly building inspection in the summer, and the tower was not raised as a concern, so it is a surprise.
“We have seen with the window campaign how generous people have been, and how people hold the church in their hearts. We will also be applying for grants to get the work done.”
The campaign to repair the windows, and pay for grilles to protect them, has already raised more than £870, while an initial fundraiser for the stone damage has raised £160.
To donate to the windows campaign, visit www.crowdfunder.co.uk/protecting-st-johns-windows
To donate to the roof repairs visit www.crowdfunder.co.uk/repairing-st-johns-tower