Boris Johnson buys slate to support seaside church roof appeal

PM Boris Johnson with the slate he signed for St Mary's Catholic Church in Great Yarmouth

Boris Johnson has pledged his support to St Mary's Catholic Church in Great Yarmouth by sponsoring a slate for its roof appeal. - Credit: supplied by Brian Lafferty

Prime minister Boris Johnson has sponsored a £10 slate boosting an appeal to repair a church in Great Yarmouth.

Some 300 have already been sold and signed supporting a £1.6m package of works to St Mary's Catholic Church in Regent Road.

Brian Lafferty, chairman of the church's finance committee, said he was "well pleased" to receive the donation.

A birds eye view of St Mary's Church in Great Yarmouth's Regent Road.

A birds eye view of St Mary's Church in Great Yarmouth's Regent Road. - Credit: Eastern Counties Drones

He said it came about following a visit by Yarmouth MP Brandon Lewis.

As well as asking Mr Lewis to contribute he asked him if the PM would sign a slate too.

"We had Brandon here a few weeks ago and I asked if he fancied getting Boris to sign one too. He said he would pay for it now and get the £10 off Boris later.

"He said he would and I had no reason to doubt  him."

Restoration work St Mary's RC Church Great Yarmouth

Drone pictures offering a bird's eye view of urgent restoration work going on at St Mary's RC Church in Regent Road, Great Yarmouth, and its place in the town. - Credit: Brian Lafferty

The PM's signature, written in permanent marker, will be displayed on the inside of the roof away from the worst of the weather, along with hundreds of others.

St Mary's Church in Regent Road Great Yarmouth

The catholic church in Great Yarmouth's Regent Road is having its roof replaced. - Credit: Liz Coates

Mr Lafferty said all the slates would be going on in the next few weeks and the scaffolding coming down adding there was still time to purchase one.

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In the last two years around £600,000 has been spent on the landmark church which has seen concrete tiles removed from the roof and replaced with slate ones which can be sponsored for £10.

The project has included repairs to stained glass windows which would have fallen out and been lost without any action.

But another £1m worth of work needs to be done.

Mr Lafferty hailed Mr Lewis's interest and enthusiasm for the project saying he wanted to be kept up to date and see the results for himself once all the work had finished.

"That day he came he was quite astonished at what was going on. He showed a genuine interest," he said.

Boris Johnson married Carrie Symonds in a small ceremony at the Catholic Westminster Cathedral in May 2021 and was baptised a Catholic.

To donate or find out more visit www.stmarysgy.org.uk.