French answer church fire ‘m’aidez’

08:45 30 April 2014

Church Warden Jennifer Royle who has welcomed the generous offer from Axminster

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

Rob and Steve outside a DAAT shop.

Rob Conabeer and Steve Wilson made it to their final shop at 7.45pm, after setting off in the morning.

Read more
Members of Honiton and District Lions Club are celebrating another cracking fundraising year. Photo by Bob Francis.

The group has been a strong presence on community days, putting on a popular classic car rally at the annual Charter Day celebrations, and hosting the ever-popular duck race in Weston.

Read more
14:59
Pictured at the crossing (l to r) Keith Mitchell, tram car inspector; PC Steve Lee  and Lee Taylor, engineering and operations manager Seaton Tramway nspect the new CCTV installation Picture: SUBMITTED

Police crackdown on red light jumpers after car hits tram at the Colyford road crossing

Read more
07:55
Beryl Denham

‘It’s incredibnly sad but the the time has come to retire gracefully,’ says chairman Beryl Denham

Read more
Yesterday, 17:30
Tesco community champion Louisa Littlewood and store manager Leanne Eamshaw with The King's Centre food bank manager Teresa Hawkes. Ref mhh 3169-35-15TI. Picture: Terry Ife

More than 50 boxes were filled throughout last weekend and donated to the food bank.

Read more
Yesterday, 11:17
Supermarket trolley

The revelation has been heralded as a ‘blessing in disguise’ by the town’s chamber of commerce chairman.

Read more
Yesterday, 11:16

Are your children addicted to TV or computer games? Do they rarely stir from the sofa? Are they getting enough exercise? With the children back at school this week, it’s the perfect time for them to get fitter.

Read more
Yesterday, 07:39
Exeter Magistrates' Court

Woman left upset after pensioner exposed himself

Read more
Tue, 17:06
Honiton Christmas lights in 2013. Ref mhh 0083-50-12AW. To order your copy of this photograph, go to www.midweekherald.co.uk and click on myphotos24

Several collections will be made outside Tesco in Honiton.

Read more
Tue, 11:30

The incident happened on Sunday, August 30, between 3.30am and 4am in Kings Road.

Read more

Local Weather

Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 15°C

min temp: 9°C

Most Read News

Great British Life


Great British Life

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

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Midweek Herald e-edition today E-edition


Honiton's trusted business finder