Will's Church Needs Repairs Jun 26, 2003 21:26:37 GMT -5
Post by rabagas on Jun 26, 2003 21:26:37 GMT -5
Shakespeare's Church in Urgent Need of Repair
Thu Jun 26, 8:19 AM ET Add Oddly Enough - Reuters to My Yahoo!
LONDON (Reuters) - The church where William Shakespeare was baptized and buried is falling apart and needs to be repaired urgently, its trustees said Wednesday.
They have set up a charity to raise money to restore the building -- the Holy Trinity Church in Shakespeare's hometown of Stratford-upon-Avon in central England.
"When it rains the water comes in," said Jane Darby, one of the church's five trustees.
"The worst damage is on the parapet," she told Reuters. "Bits of masonry were coming down and could have been a risk to tourists or anyone walking past. They've had to seal that area off."
The church, founded in 1210, is made of crumbly sandstone and has weathered over the years. Contributions toward its upkeep have fallen, due to dwindling attendance and the worldwide downturn in the tourist industry.
Trustees are setting up a Web site, www.shakespeareschurch.com, to publicize their appeal.
They hope to raise $167,000 to mend the parapet and then collect more money for work on other parts of the building.
The first recorded mention of a church on the banks of the River Avon comes as early as 845 although work on the current building did not start until the early 13th century. Several extensions, including a steeple, have been added since then.
Shakespeare was baptized at the Holy Trinity Church on April 26, 1564, three days after his birth.
He prayed there as a boy and was a lay rector toward the end of his life, when he returned to Stratford from London.
He was buried inside the church on April 25, 1616, two days after his death. His wife Ann Hathaway lies alongside him.