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Cheque’s enclosed to help with repairs
THE Queen and her great, great grandmother have been reconnected through their support for an Oxfordshire church.
Queen Victoria gave St Michael & All Angels Church in Leafield a tenor bell in 1887 as part of her Golden Jubilee celebrations.
But the church has since fallen into disrepair and fundraisers have launched a £600,000 campaign to restore it.
They wrote to the Queen to tell her about the appeal – and her ancestor’s donation – and Buckingham Palace wrote back.
The reply stated that the Queen was “very interested” to hear about the project and enclosed a cheque for an undisclosed amount from her privy purse charitable trust. The privy purse is income from the Duchy of Lancaster, which is used to meet both official and private expenditure by The Queen.
The Duchy of Lancaster is a portfolio of land, property and assets held in trust for the Queen and administered separately from the Crown Estates.
Its main purpose is to provide an independent source of income, and is used mainly to pay for official expenditure not met by the Civil List.
Leafield associate priest the Rev Dr Brian Ford said: “We were delighted to have received the support from Her Majesty during what must be a very busy year for her.
“We are told the Queen very rarely gives money and I believe that until recently this has not happened at all.”
He added: “Queen Victoria occasionally visited Cornbury and obviously she saw this magnificent church and decided to give it a bell.
“Since Queen Victoria had done that at her Golden Jubilee, we thought the Queen would be interested for her Diamond Jubilee.”
The restoration work is needed because tiles blocked the roof’s drainage channels and caused water to run down the church’s walls, staining and damaging them.
The work has been costed at £292,878, but the community has already raised £60,000 and English Heritage has agreed to give £171,000.
Once the repair work is complete, organisers hope to raise another £300,000 to fund a revamp of the interior.
A Buckingham Palace spokesman declined to comment on the donation.