Wanstead church organises concert to raise much-needed funds for damaged roof

A church is hoping to raise thousands of pounds to repair its roof after thieves stripped lead from it by hosting a concert.

Wanstead United Reformed Church, in Nightingale Lane, Wanstead, has been told it needs to raise £4,000 to replace the roof which was damaged in January.

Chris Walker, 64, the church elder responsible for the property, has invited The Hayward Piano Quartet to perform music by Mozart, Saint-Saens and Walton to boost the coffers on March 7.

He said: “We have had estimates and according to the contractors, the [street] value of the lead is about £50 for those who took it, but we have to pay £4,000.

“We are working very hard to make the church fully functioning again and as such it is a great pity we have to spend funds repairing needless damage which could be redirected to help us being an active church within the community.

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Mr Walker admitted the “uncertain weather” of late has damaged the inside of the church, too.

“We are still experiencing some water coming in even though the roof was patched up,” he added. “To be quite frank we have been a little bit fortunate with the way the building has been built; the water seems to be enclosed in the kitchen area. We have been incredibly lucky in that respect.

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“There are still times when I have to mop the floor every time it rains.”

Two years ago, the church underwent a £1.5 million refurbishment but Mr Walker described recent events as “the most challenging period by a long way”.

The Hayward Piano Quartet’s cellist, Roberta Rominger, is the United Reformed Church’s national general secretary.

Mr Walker said: “She is a great friend of ours, so when the quartet offered their services we said “yes, thank you very much, please come and play for us”. They are not professional musicians but they are highly gifted.”

Tickets available from the South Porch, Grosvenor Road, E11 2HD, between 3.30pm-5.00pm weekdays. Tickets also available on the door. For further details call 0208 989 2426

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