Fundraiser for collapsed High Toynton church raises hundreds

Hundreds of pounds has been raised to help towards a huge rebuilding project for a much-loved village church.

Musicians Ruth Bell and Bernie Booth.
Musicians Ruth Bell and Bernie Booth.

On Sunday January 19, 2020, the tower of St John the Baptist church collapsed and after the Covid-19 pandemic hit, the church council was left with the challenge to start their rebuilding project in lockdown.

An appeal was launched, initially, to make the building safe at a cost of more than £31,000, but this was raised within two months thanks to the generous donations of local people and through funds loaned by villagers.

A huge fundraising appeal was then launched and as part of that, the Parochial Church Council hosted a music festival over the weekend.

Jack Linder-Arden and Arthur Richmond tie clay decorations to the village tree. All photos by Chris Frear

There was live music played over the two days, including by Horncastle Ukelele Band, and visitors were also able to have a go at drumming and singing workshops.

Tours of the churchyard and chancel also took place, and overall £760 was raised towards the church’s tower fundraiser.

Alison Bell, secretary of the Parochial Church Council, said: “It all went brilliantly, there was a lovely atmosphere and we were so lucky with the weather - we prepared for rain on both days!

"People were coming and staying all day, just like they were at a real music festival.”

North and west elevations of St John the Baptist Church, High Toynton.

In July, it was confirmed that £200,000 of National Lottery funding has been secured for the project, and investigative work has already begun by architects and other experts, which should be completed next month, with a view to being able to have a rebuilding plan for the church together by the new year.