French answer church fire ‘m’aidez’

PUBLISHED: 08:45 30 April 2014 | UPDATED: 08:45 30 April 2014

Church Warden Jennifer Royle who has welcomed the generous offer from Axminster's French twin town to help pay for repairs to the fire damaged Minster. Photo by Chris Carson

Church Warden Jennifer Royle who has welcomed the generous offer from Axminster's French twin town to help pay for repairs to the fire damaged Minster. Photo by Chris Carson

Archant

Axminster’s Normandy twin town sets up a fund to help pay for repairs after £100,000 Minster arson attack

Douvres town hall in the shadow of the water tower. Photo by Chris CarsonDouvres town hall in the shadow of the water tower. Photo by Chris Carson

Axminster’s French twinning partners have started a fund to help pay for repairs to the Axe Valley town’s fire damaged Minster Church.

The generous gesture of help came from the newly re-elected mayor of Douvres la Délivrande - Thierry Lefort.

He made it to the chairman of Axminster’s twinning association Caroline Hillyard when she visited the Normandy town recently to see him win a second term of office.

Mrs Hillyard said: “Thierry knew that another of my missions during my stay had been to find the copy of the twinning oath which had been destroyed in the recent fire in the Minster Church, in Axminster. Luckily it was close to hand in the Mairie - the town hall - in Douvres and the staff there were very helpful in taking copies for me to bring back so that we can produce another one.

“The fire in the church came up in our conversation and completely putting aside other, more pressing, local issues that he might need to attend to Thierry said: “If you can give me all the details of who is dealing with the aftermath of the church fire and how much money the parish needs to find, I will start a collection here.”

Mrs Hillyard added: “I did say that I thought this gesture was really beyond the call of duty but Thierry was insistent and just said quite simply ‘of course it’s not, we’re twin towns, we are here to help each other’.

“It was my turn to feel overwhelmed.”

Repairs to Axminster Parish Church, which was left severely smoke damaged following the arson attack, are expected to cost more than £100,000.

Although the church was insured the bill for much of the clean up operation will have to be paid by the local Parochial Church Council.

Church Warden Jennifer Royle said the offer of help from the town’s French partners was extremely welcome.

“We are, of course very touched by this gesture from our friends in Douvres and wish to express our appreciation and thanks ,” she told The Herald.

* See Mrs Hillyard’s account of her recent trip to Douvres in next week’s Herald.

Other News Stories

Yesterday, 16:42

Police believe it to be that of missing Lyme Regis man Derek Richard Powell, aged 45

Read more
Yesterday, 15:04

An Exeter based ecology business has discovered a rare species of bat roosting in East Devon.

Read more
Yesterday, 14:47

Mums travel free to mark their special day

Read more
Yesterday, 13:02

Committee desperately needs to find a new storage site for its award winning queen’s float

Read more
Yesterday, 11:43

First time offenders could avoid conviction as part of GPS Pathfinder, a new scheme being rolled out by Devon and Cornwall Police in June

Read more
Yesterday, 11:35

Drinks company is fast becoming the toast of the English wine making industry

Read more
Tue, 16:57

Derek Powell’s car is found in a layby near a wooded area at Monkton Wyld

Read more
Tue, 16:45

Richard Delderfield travels to Buckingham Palace to collect his medal

Read more
Tue, 16:27

East Devon residents are being urged to make sure they are registered to vote in time for this year’s Devon County Council elections.

Read more
Tue, 16:02

Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence and his team discuss the running of the lifeboat station with local officials

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 6°C

min temp: 2°C

Most Read News

Useful Links

Family notices
Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Submit a Story
Buy Photos
Competitions
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus Page
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Read Online

Image
Read the Midweek Herald e-edition E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Local business directory

Honiton's trusted business finder

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists


Find planning applications