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Stoneworkers restore Sudbury tower to first splendour

Skilled tradesmen have carried out a fine restoration of the Victorian tower of Our Lady and St John in Sudbury. Michael Evans reports.

A quinquennial review at the parish church of Our Lady and St John, Sudbury, found that the top of the tower of this Grade II listed building was in a very poor state of repair and that it needed urgent attention. Several pieces of masonry had begun to break off and fall to the ground and without swift action, the deterioration would only get worse. 

Fr Peter Brett, parish priest, and a small working group from the finance committee established a project with a specialist consultant to begin restoration and renovation of the upper levels of this Victorian tower that had a number of unique features. With help from the Historic Churches Committee of the Diocese, a faculty (permission to undertake work on a listed place of worship) was obtained and the rebuild with new stonework and bricks began in October 2020 with a schedule to complete in February 21, no easy feat in view of some inclement weather. 

However, the consultant, Mr David Eusden, and the contractor, Weldon Stone, working together completed the project as planned on February 22, very close to budget in spite of some unforeseen issues that arose along the way. The detailed, specialist masonry is a lovely piece of tradecraft and we are extremely pleased with the excellent quality of the final finish, which has really improved the look of the Church and the tower in a picturesque location in the town of Sudbury, opposite the meadows of Gainsborough.

Pictured above is the restored tower in Sudbury