In 1957 the Church of St. Johns was damaged in a storm and in order to raise a funds and appeal was launched. The following is the text of that appeal, and it includes a description by Maria Edgeworth, of the erecting of the prefabricated spire, designed by her father.

An Appeal on behalf of
St. John's Church, Edgeworthstown
AUGUST, 1957
Owing to the storm in February last damage was caused to the roof of the Church and Vestry. When repairs were being carried out it was found that all the timber was infected with wood-worm and dry rot. The large beams also proved to be similarly decayed – in short, it was found necessary to re-roof the entire Church and Vestry. In addition, the whole interior of the Church, Vestry and porch had to be re-plastered, and portion of the East wall re-built.
The tower, upon which stood the spire erected by Richard Lovell Edgeworth (father of the celebrated novelist, Maria Edgeworth, who also worshipped here) was found recently to be in a dangerous condition. It has been examined by the Diocesan Architect, who has ordered major repairs to be carried out, and has also recommended the re-plastering of the exterior of the Church. The spire, erected in 1811, was assembled on the ground and drawn up with the assistance of counterbalancing weights to the top of the tower. Miss Edgeworth, in writing to her Aunt describes it as follows:
" Now please to walk with me to the spire and see William standing on the scaffolding round the top of the Church tower, which looks like the manned mast of a man-of-war. He gives the signal and the four men at the corner capstans work the windlasses, and in a few moments, with a slow majestic motion, the spire begins to ascend. Its gilt ball and arrow glitter higher and higher in the sun, and its iron skeleton rises by beautiful degrees till, in twelve minutes and a half, its whole transparent form is high in the air and stands composed and sublime in its destined situation. It retired once more to the interior of the Church to be slated and was finally raised (this time in eighteen minutes) amid the plaudits of a large assembly, on September 19th, was bolted down and built into its tower where it has stood ever since."
It is sad to relate that it was found necessary to remove the spire about 25 years ago.
In order to preserve adequately this historic Church, so intimately connected with the Edgeworth family, it is necessary to
raise an amount of £2,000 approximately – a sum far beyond the powers of the 16 families in the parish, who, nevertheless,
have given in personal subscriptions the sum of £440. It has thus become necessary to issue a wider appeal on behalf of the
The list of recorded Rectors goes back to the year 1410. We, in this day and generation, are doing our best to play our part in providing and maintaining a place of worship for succeeding generations, and we confidently appeal to your generosity to enable us to do so.
Please do not put this appeal to one side, but send something now, as the need is urgent. We shall be most thankful for any contribution, large or small.
Your donation, which will be gratefully acknowledged, should be sent to:
The Rectory, Edgeworthstown,
Co. Longford;
or J. H. L. STUART, ESQ.,
Co. Longford.
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