A COUPLE who embarked on an unusual restoration project to create a ‘special’ home put their unique building on the market on Friday.
Heather Hine, 60, and husband Richard, 67, purchased The Old Church, formerly St Peter’s Church, in Culford Heath, around five years ago.
At the time, it was run down, had a hole in the roof which allowed rain to get in and would soon have fallen down if someone not stepped in, according to the couple, .
Mrs Hine, a supply teacher at Westley Middle School, said: “We had sold a house in Norfolk and were looking to move this way for work and had some bookings in the area. My husband, fortuitously, picked up the Bury Free Press and there was this massive half page ad on it saying open day tomorrow.
“We looked at it and thought that’s unusual, shall we cancel our other bookings? It was one of those instant things – we looked at the surroundings and thought this is heavenly.”
“It had been standing for 150 years but I don’t think it would have stood much longer,” she said.
Getting building plans approved took a year, with many considerations given to the church’s Grade II listed status, after which a further 10 months were spent on the build itself, with a stonemason and glass restorer among the specialists brought in.
“We didn’t have anything go wrong, it all went smoothly –we’re great optimists and could always see what it would be,” said Mrs Hine.
The couple, who are now looking to downsize, say they will miss spending Christmas in the house with their five children and their families, around a 15ft tree.
“It’s just so special and we’ve loved living here,” she said. “It’ll need the right people – it’ll be an emotional thing for them.”
The Old Church is being marketed by Bedfords – 01284 769999