Medway News, 24/9/2009

A FRAGMENT of medieval  glass is among artefacts uncovered during the restoration of St Margaret's Church in Rainham.

The piece, which will be put on display once the work is completed, was found as specialist workers began the enormous task of stripping the church of its worn out beams and decaying goat-hair plaster to replace the roof and preserve the Grade 1 listed building for future generations. The work Is needed to update some repairs carried out in the 1860s when most of the stonework and windows were replaced. But the roof timbers are the main concern, with many of the originals having rotted to almost nothing. In a later stage the 100ft tower will also undergo restoration and the brickwork reflinted. 
The £500,000 project, which is expected to last into the spring, has been funded by heritage grants and a massive fundral raising effort by supporters, which has so far topped £360000. A final push for the remainder of the cash is underway with vicar Canon Alan Vousden confident the money will be in place to ensure its completion. Mr Vousden said: "We are at a very exciting {KIint in the process, which started in 2005.  "We have been very pleased, but not surprised with the support we have had. "The church is cherished by the people of Rainham and rightly seen as a landmark as well as a spiritual place. "Not all the donations have come from people who regularly come to church, but from parishioners who recognise its Significance and want to see it properly preserved. "It has captured the imagination of the people of Rainham and they have been very enthusiastic to see it succeed.
"We are delighted the scaffolding has gone up so people can actually see we are committed to making this happen and that their hard work is bearing fruit." 
The work is currently taking place in the main nave and above the office and the organ has been dismantled and put into storage while the mural will be renovated in-situ. Services are currently being held in the Millennium Centre until the church, which dates in parts to t IOOAD, is safe
enough for congregations again.

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