The Vicar's Letter (written by Reverend Malcolm Grant, vicar of St Mary's Church in Eaton Bray) has been appearing in the villages Focus magazine since August 2002
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Vicar's Letter

May 2003

Reverend Malcolm Grant, vicar of the Church of St Mary The Virgin, Eaton Bray with Edlesborough.

"What's happening at the church?" lots of people have been asking since the scaffolding went up at the beginning of March. Don't worry - there is no danger of it falling down! We are undertaking an extensive programme of restoration to the outside stonework, to ensure there are no serious problems for many years to come. A survey of the stonework by digital photography has enabled Philip Johnson, our Architect, to identify each stone that has become eroded or split, and new stones are being cut to size to replace them, to prevent water getting into the structure of the church. This is of great importance when the construction is of two "skins" of dressed stone with a cavity filled with rubble.

The original estimate for the work was around 70,000, but once the scaffolding was up it became apparent that further repairs would be needed in areas invisible from the ground - so inevitably the cost will go up! This work is being done without any major appeal to the local community because finances have been carefully stewarded over the years in order to meet demands such as this. But, of course, if anyone would like to contribute towards this major effort to conserve our church for future generations, the Treasurer or I would be delighted to hear from them!

We hope that the work will be finished by the end of this month. Then we shall have to begin to top up the Fabric Fund again, to be ready for the next task, whatever that might be. Our church is a major part of this community's heritage, as well as having some very fine architectural features - but, most important of all, it is a place where prayer and worship are offered daily, where the good news of God's love for us all is preached, and from which that love flows out in service to the whole community.

God bless you all. MALCOLM


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About the Vicar's Letter

The Vicar's Letter has been appearing in the villages Focus magazine since August 2002.

The Rev. Peter Graham also used to publish The Vicar's Letter in the parish magazine of 1964. Please see the area for these.