After 75 years, the mystery of what's caused a church's leaky roof in Kent has finally been solved.
A new website has been launched to help keep historic churches and chapels safe for the future.
Set up by the National Churches Trust and 2buy2, the national buying group for UK, charities, schools and churches, MaintenanceBooker helps churches to prevent problems such as leaking roofs and crumbling stonework.
Churches and chapels of all denominations can use the website to get professional help for essential maintenance tasks, thereby preventing the need for expensive repairs.
They can book gutter clearance and repairs, lightning protection inspection, tree surveys and maintenance as well as asbestos surveys and removal.
More services will be added later in the year, such as stonework and lime mortaring with bat surveys, and grounds and graveyard maintenance in the pipeline.
Becky Clark, director of churches and cathedrals for the Church of England said the website will make it easier to keep church buildings in good repair.
"Simple tasks like keeping gutters and drains clear, identifying problems with trees and properly maintaining them and ensuring stonework is well looked after will help prevent unexpected large repair bills and can encourage local people, whether churchgoers or not, to take an interest in their church," she said.
For many churches the cost of maintenance can be a major barrier to keeping their building in good repair, so users of MaintenanceBooker can obtain Preventative Maintenance Micro-Grants to help pay for the cost of gutter clearance.
Churches and chapels in the north of England, the Midlands and Wales can now use MaintenanceBooker. The service will be available throughout the rest of England from 3rd September 2018.
The website was launched following a successful Heritage Lottery Fund pilot project in Yorkshire.
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