Appeal to raise £450,000 to restore St Mary’s in Mirfield

PLEA FOR HELP: Ian Boocock and the Rev Helen Butler with a piece of crumbling stonework which fell from St Mary's. (d541b248)
PLEA FOR HELP: Ian Boocock and the Rev Helen Butler with a piece of crumbling stonework which fell from St Mary's. (d541b248)
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AN HISTORIC Mirfield landmark needs £450,000 cash injection to save it from decay.

Urgent repairs must be made to the bells, clock and tower at St Mary’s, which dates from 1871.

Stonework has started falling from the building and there are fears the tower will become unstable if something is not done soon.

The Rev Helen Butler, of Mirfield Team Parish, said: “This building has been here for 140 years and we want it for another 140 years.

“It’s a landmark – it makes Mirfield, Mirfield.”

Church warden Ian Boocock said: “It has got to a stage where stonework has fallen off and has caused a danger.

“Repairs have been carried out to restore the church to a safe condition but it does need permanent, urgent maintenance work.”

Today (Saturday) the parochial church council (PCC) starts its appeal to raise the £450,000 needed by the church in Church Lane.

“It’s got to a very serious stage and the congregation alone can’t fund the work,” Mr Boocock said.

“But it’s got to be dealt with by hook or by crook.”

The PCC will apply to the Heritage Lottery Fund for support, but it needs wider community backing.

Rev Butler said: “We need people to know that the building is in a state and it needs this level of work.

“We need lots of people to show their support because that’s how we are then going to get the majority of the money in from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

“We don’t just want money – we want people’s ideas, people’s support, anyone who has had experience of writing funding bids.

“We want people who can man stalls at open days and bake cakes and donate prizes.”

Years of cold winters have harmed the church’s sandstone exterior and leaks in the roof have caused damage inside.

Work needs to be done to fix the windows, keep the electrics dry, shield the church organ from the rain, regild the clock and restore the bells. Visit www.mirfieldteamparish.org.uk if you can help.