WORK to rebuild a church which was destroyed by fire could begin at the end of the year.

Architects have been working on a ‘like for like’ design for the rebuild of Mudeford All Saints Church.

Churchwarden Chris Green revealed the project is expected to cost around £2.7m but she is “optimistic” it will be done by December 2024.

It is nearly a year since the historic building was engulfed with flames on the evening of Thursday, July 14, 2022. 

More than 50 firefighters were called to tackle the blaze that was sparked by an electrical issue in the building.

Described as ‘very severe’, it caused huge damage to the roof and interior leaving behind a charred ruin.

Bournemouth Echo: Firefighters at Mudeford All Saints ChurchFirefighters at Mudeford All Saints Church

Chris added: “People were so devastated by it, even non-churchgoers - it meant so much to them because they had family members get married there and held funerals there.

“It just meant so much to the whole of Mudeford and the community.”

In the weeks following the blaze, fire investigations were carried out and work was done to make the building safe.

Church users were forced to find new places to worship and churchwardens Chris and Tony Eden faced endless questions about when the rebuild would begin.

Chris said: “All Saints has no priest and so rebuilding it has fallen to the churchwardens - it has been my life seven days a week.”

Bournemouth Echo: Mudeford All Saints Church following the fireMudeford All Saints Church following the fire

She added that the work “could” begin at the end of the year, but that some fundraising may have to be done ahead of the rebuild for “extras" not covered by insurance.

To mark one year since the Mudeford All Saints Church fire, an open-air service is due to be held on Sunday, July 16.

It will be taking place on the green across the road from the church.

Speaking in the days following the fire, Chris praised the “phenomenal” support from the public.

She told the Daily Echo: “You can always rebuild a building – it’s the people you can’t rebuild and it’s those people that make the church what it is.”