Churches put their heads together to repair crumbling towers

THREE east London churches have joined forces to repair their towers and make sure they are safe for their congregations and for local residents who pass by them every day.

St John on Bethnal Green, St Matthew Bethnal Green and St John of Jerusalem, South Hackney, will all sign contracts with Stonewest on Tuesday and will see crumbling stonework on their towers restored in the coming months.

Rector of St John of Jerusalem Rev Andrew Wilson said: “Of course Church of England churches regularly co-operate with each other but it is unusual for us to work together on building repairs like this.”

The three churches went to tender jointly in the summer and appointed Stonewest in November.

John Rushworth, Managing Director at Stonewest, who will sign the contracts on behalf of his company, said the churches were offered very favourable terms because his company could co-ordinate management of the works.

He said: “We can move men from one church to another if we need to because they are close together but the biggest saving comes from the fact that we can use one project manager.”

Rees Bolter Architects, is responsible for all three projects and English Heritage is the main funder for all three.

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Rev Alan Green, Rector of St John on Bethnal Green and acting Archdeacon for Stepney, said that London’s old churches are often in need of repair.

He said: “It’s rare, though, that three so close together can co-ordinate restoration work in this way.”

Work will start on the churches in February.

The contracts are due to be signed at St John on Bethnal Green on Tuesday.