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The Bull Inn in Rippingale, near Bourne, is raising money for the roof repairs of St Andrew's Church in the village through the sale of a special beer

A village church is to fund roof repairs through the sale of a special beer.

The landlords of the Bull Inn, Rippingale, John and Louise Smith devised the idea when they heard St Andrew’s Church had major problems in its chancel roof.

The couple are having a special beer made, with all the profits funding the repairs.

Neil Bullen, Louise Smith, Jonathan Newell, Nigel Wright (22301790)
Neil Bullen, Louise Smith, Jonathan Newell, Nigel Wright (22301790)

In September last year, work started for a job expected to cost £40,000 plus VAT, money which had been raised from fundraising events, grants, donations and using church funds.

But soon it was clear the roof was in a much worse condition than originally thought. A revised estimate put the cost at £114,000 plus VAT so the job was split in two phases. The first, involved internal work and a new temporary roof was completed last Christmas, costing £57,000 plus VAT.

Now, £56,000 +VAT is needed through grants and fundraising to complete the work before the life of the temporary roof expires next year.

St Andrew's Church (22301801)
St Andrew's Church (22301801)

Churchwarden Jonathan Newell said: “John and Louise’s generosity in supporting this project is a very welcome addition to our fundraising efforts.”

Hopshackle Brewery of Market Deeping is brewing the beer, a 7 per cent ABV barley wine called Restoration.

Owner Nigel Wright said: “When John and Louise first mentioned this to me, I thought what a cracking idea. For centuries there has been a strong association between breweries and their local community. The Restoration beer will honour this historical past and preserve it into the future for the next generations.”

The rotting roof (22301777)
The rotting roof (22301777)

The Rev Neil Bullen, Rector of the Ringstone in Aveland Group (which includes Rippingale) says the church is very grateful to the Smiths for their support.

“The church and the pub have worked closely together over the years and this is really important in such a small community. There is a historic connection between the church and brewing. Monks have been brewing beer since the 5th century so this means of fundraising is in keeping with that tradition.”

Louise Smith said the pub is delighted to help the church. The limited edition bottled beer can be ordered by phone on 01778 440054 or via the pub’s Facebook page. It can be collected from mid-December and it will also be on draught from December 17. www.thebullrippingale.co.uk has details.

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