Church left badly damaged by freak lightning strike
WORSHIPPERS have been left stunned after lightning blasted their church steeple and left a series of holes in the roof.
The damage was caused as a storm swept over the region late on Monday night.
Most buildings avoided damage, but St Odulph Church in Pillaton, near Saltash, suffered a direct hit.
It came when a bolt of lightening struck the bell tower and exploded one of the turrets.
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The flying rubble smashed the slate tiles and left huge splinters of wood precariously dangling into the church below – near to the pulpit – at around midnight.
There was also damage caused at a neighbouring pub by the storm.
The Weary Friar felt the impact of the falling debris from the church.
Parishioner Tony Rowe is organising repairs to the devastation at the church.
He said: "One of the turrets on the tower exploded.
"There are around four or five holes on the roof of the church.
"Also some of the stone fell in front of the pub."
Mr Rowe fears it could take a lot of time to repair the damage.
He added: "We are having emergency roofing put on the building to secure it."
The church is closed to the public while it is made safe, secure and water tight.
The Weary Friar is a 12th Century country inn that was originally used to house the builders of the church and then became a rest-house inn.
A spokesman for the bar said: "There is no real damage to the pub building but a power surge took out the computers and phones, which I think happened across the village.
"Our credit card machines are also down.
"Some of the stone from the church fell onto one of our picnic benches outside and smashed it in half which we'll have to replace, but the pub itself hasn't been damaged."
The parish church became a listed building in 1968.
It is made from slatestone rubble with granite dressing.