Brompton Regis church has secured £162,000 Heritage Lottery funding to tackle its tower problems.

The medieval tower of St Mary’s Church at Brompton Regis will be 800 years old in 2020, and has been absorbing water through the centuries. The effects inside the church have become acute in recent years, with green mould and peeling plaster on the walls, and puddles on the floor in very wet periods. The damp atmosphere has become a threat to the church’s historically important Thomas Lewis organ, and the building has been placed on the At Risk register by Historic England.

The Heritage Lottery Fund has now come into partnership with the Parochial Church Council to address the problem decisively. Having committed some legacy money to the project, the PCC has been raising further funds and is approaching the final target, but the major part of the cost is being borne by the HLF. Preliminary drilling and other investigative works have been completed, and the full repair and conservation project will get underway on 6 August. It will last nearly a year and will involve complete re-grouting and repointing, stonework repairs, a new tower roof and improved ground drainage. It will be guided by Alan Smith of Smith Gamblin, a Bridgwater-based architectural company, and carried out by Carrek Ltd, a Bristol-based company specialising in historic buildings.

Churchwarden Malcolm Miller said: “The parish is hugely appreciative of the HLF’s commitment to conserving this important part of its heritage for present and future generations.”

The church has also received £10,000 from the National Churches Trust, together with £3,000 each from the Somerset Churches Trust and Allchurches Trust, plus several smaller but much-appreciated grants from other charities, and this support will enable the complete realisation of the project.


Press release issued by North Devon Council

With the summer in full swing, many of us are enjoying eating ‘al fresco’ in the garden or at the beach.

North Devon Council is reminding residents to dispose of their barbecues safely. If you are planning a barbecue, consider how you will cool and dispose of it to ensure everyone is kept safe:

  • Do not empty ashes into dustbins or wheelie bins; if they are hot they can melt the plastic and cause a fire.
  • Do not put your disposable barbecue in a bin until it has cooled down completely; allow several hours.
  • Consider using a charcoal barbecue rather than a disposable one.
  • If you are at the beach, use sand or water to extinguish and cool your disposable barbecue. Some beaches have barbecue bins.
  • If you are using a barbecue in a remote location, take plenty of water with you to extinguish it.
  • Never bury your barbecue in the sand or leave it on the beach.
  • If you are planning on having a fire on the beach, check that fires are permitted, cool and clean up any charcoal.
  • Take your litter home with you.

Executive Member for Waste and Recycling, Councillor Rodney Cann, says: “We would like to stress how important it is to ensure your disposable barbecue is completely cool before putting it in the bin. Likewise, if you have a charcoal barbecue, never put hot ashes in your bin. We all want to make the most of these sunny days, but please remember to take litter home with you and if you are planning a barbecue, consider the safety of yourself and others and dispose of it carefully.”

More information about barbecue safety is available on the Devon and Somerset Fire & Rescue Service website.