In May 2014, it became clear that the lych gate at St. Catherine’s, Wickford, which had been leaning slightly, Pisa-like for some years, was suddenly starting to move towards the Southend Road. For most people, demolition was not an option; the lych gate has many admirers and supporters, a good number of whom were willing to make a donation towards its repair.
A Structural Engineer found that the woodwork had rotted away below ground level, leading to the near-collapse of the gate. New foundations would be required, which would include steel angle-irons, on to which the lych gate could then be lifted and bolted. The church started to fundraise in order to reach the £8,000 plus VAT target and were delighted when this Trust awarded them a grant of £5,000.
The works were finally completed in July of this year and regular worshippers and people arranging weddings and baptisms are relieved that a much-loved feature of the church is back in one piece.