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Elix plan to help save our churches

PUBLISHED: 09:42 12 February 2010 | UPDATED: 09:15 01 August 2010

A NEW maintenance scheme has begun to protect and preserve Suffolk's historic places of worship.

Elix, which is Latin for field drain, has been launched at St Mary's Church in Halesworth.

A NEW maintenance scheme has begun to protect and preserve Suffolk's historic places of worship.

Elix, which is Latin for field drain, has been launched at St Mary's Church in Halesworth.

Each place of worship will pay an annual fee of £260 for an approved contractor to clear old gutters and downpipes, rod drains, check manholes and a range of other work.

It is hoped this will go some ways to reducing an annual diocese repair bill of £2.2m - most of which could be saved through regular maintenance.

More than 100 places of worship have already signed up to the scheme, which was devised by the Diocesan Advisory Committee for the Church of England in Suffolk.

The initiative is set to last for five years and the first 300 places to take part will received a 50pc discount courtesy of the Suffolk Historic Churches Trust.

Marion Welham, the newly appointed church buildings and tourism officer for the Church of England in Suffolk said: “ 'For the want of a nail the roof was lost' is a phrase we often hear and it undoubtedly applies to the over 400 medieval church in this diocese.

“Whether or not people worship regularly in these buildings, everyone appreciates them as part of the landscape and of their collective history and no-one wants to see them fall into decay.”

For details of how to join, email elix@stedmundsburyanglian.org or telephone 01473 298533.

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