A VILLAGE school's appeal to fix its leaking roof has been given a boost by local Freemasons.

Repair work at St John's CE Primary School in the heart of Silverdale is likely to cost £130,000. Chair of governors Jim Bennetts said: "The roofing job is a big one. We are beholden to all our friends in the village for the help they can give us."

Brethren from Silverdale Lodge gathered at Silverdale Mason Hall to give £500 to the Fix the Roof appeal, launched in December 2018.

The school was built around 130 years ago and, along with St John's Church, was endowed by the Boddington brewing family, who owned Cove House in the village as a country residence.

Extensions to the original building have flat roofs, which are in a poor state of repair and are leaking. The school's running costs are paid by Lancashire County Council, but the Church of England owns the building.

By longstanding agreement, the local community is called upon to raise ten per cent of costs relating to the building. The Parochial Church Council makes a contribution, as do the Ripley Trust and Friends of Silverdale School.

"We are all hugely grateful for this very generous donation towards the appeal for the school roof," said Mr Bennetts.

"This really gladdens my heart. It is wonderful that a key village institution, with a philanthropic focus, joins with us in striving to do the best for the children and young people of our community. The children of Silverdale are our future. We stand together in a common cause."

Head teacher Katie Walsh also thanked the lodge for its gift. She said the school and nursery have 78 pupils, aged three to 11.

Silverdale Lodge's worshipful master, Tony Dickinson, said: "Freemasons are always happy to help where they can with local good causes, especially those that impact on children’s welfare."

Pictured at the presentation ceremony are the school's chair of governors Jim Bennetts, staff governor and teacher Eleri Berry, head teacher Katie Walsh, five-year-old Audrey Emerson and her sister, seven-year-old Daisy Emerson, pupils at St John's CE Primary School, worshipful master Tony Dickinson and members of Silverdale Masonic Lodge.

If you would like to help the Fix the Roof appeal, call Mr Bennetts on 01524-701265.