AN APPEAL to raise nearly £500,000 to fix a church clock and tower is within touching distance, just 14 months after it was launched.
Holy Trinity Church in West Street, Fareham, started its High Time Appeal in May 2014 to repair the clock, restore the tower and turn the church into a hub for the community.
Now, after a £40,000 cash boost from Fareham Borough Council’s, it looks likely that the church clock will finally chime again by Remembrance Sunday – much to the delight of parishioners, councillors and Fareham residents.
Reverend Sally Davenport, rector of Holy Trinity, said: ‘We’re simply delighted that Fareham council has decided to make us this generous grant. The church is for everyone – whether attending services or other activities that take place here.’ each day.
‘This project will ensure that Holy Trinity remains at the heart of the community for future generations.’
Holy Trinity has a civic role in Fareham and hosts the annual service of remembrance each November.
It has been the venue for other council events such as a service commemorating the centenary of the outbreak of World War One and The Lost Sons of Fareham, an exhibition about servicemen who lost their lives.
Fareham’s council leader Sean Woodward said the money would ensure a ‘community use’ of the significant building in Fareham’s town centre.
Cllr Woodward, who is also a county councillor, used his devolved budget from Hampshire County Council to give the church nearly £1,000 so it could a build a flagpole.
The Holy Trinity Appeal had a great boost earlier this year when it was awarded £214,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
It also received funding given from other bodies, including the National Churches Trust (£10k), Hampshire and the Islands Historic Churches Trust (up to £10k), ChurchCare (£10k) and Allchurches Trust (£5k).
Fundraising events, such as fetes, fashion shows and concerts, have contributed to the total.
The total needed to complete the project, which should be finished by the end of the year, has dropped to £407,808 – meaning the church only has to raise another £20,000 to meet its target.
Assistant curate reverend Garry Roberts said: ‘To come so close after a year is fantastic. The support from the community has been overwhelming.’
For more go to htscf.org.uk.