Those of us involved with the upkeep of Dixton Church would like to thank Mrs P Long of Cheddar, Somerset for her letter in the Beacon last week (Church repairs, Beacon letters 6th November).

We welcome all support for and interest in our worthy cause.

By way of clarification, work to replace completely the chancel roof is just coming to an end and we will have our chancel back in time for the candlelit Christmas Carol service on 22nd December, which is always a very popular event. The new roof looks wonderful. This work was done with full permission from CADW and Hereford Diocese, in accordance with church and secular procedures.

The rest of the roof is certainly in need of replacement, which is our long term objective. However, the regular professional inspections of the church have not yet identified the nave roof as a priority. The refurbishment of the chancel roof has cost far more than we expected and our funds are seriously depleted, despite several grants and kind donations from the Haberdashers Schools and many generous townspeople. We are in need of funds to continue caring for this beautiful and ancient building, and all donations will be gratefully received. Replacing the main roof will require a long process of fundraising, securing the relevant permissions (this is a Grade II* listed building), applying for grants and obtaining quotations.

We thank Mrs Long for her suggestion that a working party be convened to clear the stone roof tiles piled up in the churchyard, but no such initiative is required at present. The best of these are to be kept in case we need to replace tiles and the contractor has offered to identify those that can be re-used. With the others we hope to build a bug hotel in the churchyard.

Mrs Long is also right to point out that the church is very old. There has been continuous worship there for about 1,500 years, and there are still services almost every week. Maintaining such a building is a significant task and we are working tirelessly to preserve a site that is much loved by the people who worship there and the people of Monmouth who walk along the river. The Monmouth Facebook pages are full of loving photos of the church and always elicit kind comments, which only serve to encourage us in our efforts.

If Mrs Long or any other interested person has queries or suggestions regarding Dixton Church, or wishes to make a donation, please email [email protected].

Daphne Smith (St Peter’s Dixton PCC)