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TV’s Rev. Kate celebrates the opening of the Champing™ season!

I made a special visit to Nottinghamshire this weekend to see a new church, St Peter’s, Gamston, vested in the care of The Churches Conservation Trust (CCT).  As the national charity protecting historic churches at risk, we care for churches across England that are no longer needed for regular worship. St Peter’s, Gamston will become the 353rd in our collection.

We held a special vesting event where we heard from CCT Chief Executive, Peter Aiers on the historic and community importance of these buildings and also from Conservation Projects Manager, Dawn Whitton about the £1.3million worth of conservation work that will need to carried out on the building.

Architects plans showing proposed works

The medieval church closed for regular worship in November 2015, bringing its future into doubt and the building requires substantial repair work which will include the complete re-roofing of the nave, chancel and porch, masonry and timber repairs, and conservation of interior fixtures and fittings.

TV’s Reverend Kate Bottley (of Gogglebox, Celebrity Masterchef and Radio 2 fame) also made a visit to the church to help us celebrate in style. Revered Kate, is a Priest in the nearby Retford area and came along with husband Graham and dog, Buster.

Rev. Kate, who will be Champing™ at one of our other churches with her family (including Buster) in the summer, said she was ‘really looking forward’ to her forthcoming trip and was pleased to hear that income raised from Champing™ goes back into helping conserve churches like St Peter’s.

We presented Rev. Kate with one of our famous ‘Champer Hampers’ which included wine, snacks and treats as well as ear plugs and an eye mask (I’m sure she won’t need these, but just in case)!

I can’t wait to hear about Rev. Kate’s trip later on in the year and who knows, maybe St Peter’s, Gamston will be a Champing™ church of the future?!

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