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Pupils help restore Northfleet's 600-year-old St Botolph’s Church

Some of Northfleet’s youngest residents will be remembered in one of its oldest buildings.

The 600-year-old St Botolph’s Church in The Hill is in need of major tiling work to its roof and local schoolchildren were invited along for a first-hand look.

Pupils from Rosherville Academy, Lawn Primary School and St Botolph’s School visited last week, and vicar Laurence Smith was delighted to welcome them.

St Botolph's School pupils prepare to enter the church.
St Botolph's School pupils prepare to enter the church.

The children were given a lesson into its history as well as how the tiling process works.

Each child was then invited to sign a tile, allowing their names to be associated with the church for the next century or so.

“People who came to church were getting wet when it rained, so the roof really needed sorting out,” he said.

Vicar Laurence Smith addresses pupils from Lawn Primary School outside St Botolph's Church in Northfleet.
Vicar Laurence Smith addresses pupils from Lawn Primary School outside St Botolph's Church in Northfleet.

“There have been at least three churches on this site and the last time it was tiled in its entirety was probably in 1905.”

Tilers will work eight hours a day for the next eight weeks to give the roof a new lease of life, at a cost of £112,000.

Due to the church’s status as a Grade I-listed building, most of the total has been paid for by a £100,000 government grant.

Pupils from Lawn Primary School each sign a tile for the church's new roof.
Pupils from Lawn Primary School each sign a tile for the church's new roof.

Work is expected to be completed in May.

See more pictures in this week's Gravesend Messenger.

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