Northampton church still open for service after miraculous miss by giant falling tree branch

An enormous tree branch narrowly missed crashing in St Andrews Church in Great Billing.
An enormous tree branch narrowly missed crashing in St Andrews Church in Great Billing.

A huge fallen tree branch that narrowly missed crashing into a Northampton church has been unable to stop parishioners making it to Sunday service.

The giant branch from a nearby tree at St Andrews Church, Great Billing, was blown down by the strong winds on Saturday (August 10).

It crashed to the ground sometime on Saturday morning and is now lying across the churchyard's main entrance.

Reverend Richard Burbridge said: "If the wind has been blowing the otehr way it would have come down on top of the porch.

"I didn't even think it looked unstable. There were some very high winds on Saturday."

However, several historic gravestones have been caught under the branch. The extent of the damage will be discovered after the branch is removed.

Northampton Borough Council's Ideverde team - who are responsible for the churchyard - have been contacted to remove the branch.

Reverend Burbridge said: "Residents have been able to get around it. We were still able to have service on Sunday.

"It's a good thing it didn't come down on the roof or it would have ruined the grand reopening we've got planned for next month."

St Andrew's is set to celebrate next month after the church roof was stripped of some three tonnes of roof tiles by thieves last October.

But now, after a grant by Heritage Lottery, the church has been able to repair the damage and is ready to celebrate the relaunch in September.