THE bells will be ringing out loud once more by Christmas at Christ Church Friezland as good progress is made with extensive restoration works.
The church is still use by the community and church-goers while the repairs are carried out to the roof, spire and tower.
Significant funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund has made the works possible, along with gifts and donations from generous local benefactors in the parish.
The restoration works will ensure the listed place of worship, built in 1850 by famous local architect George Shaw, will continue to serve the community for many years to come.
Tony Littlewood, Chairman of the Church Fabric Committee, said: “After a busy May with a wedding every weekend the scaffolding work to the spire and tower commenced and I am very pleased to announce it has now been completed.
“Work has begun on both the external repointing in lime mortar and the internal lime plastering.
“It is anticipated this essential work, along with repairs to the roof and bell-ringing chamber will be finished by Christmas, when the bells will ring once more – if our architect is happy that the mortar is sufficiently well set!
“We would like to record our thanks to the builders and scaffolders who have commenced this arduous task with very little disruption caused to the community.”
Church services continue unabated and there are many weddings and baptisms booked in.
The church is also a busy hub for events as well as local groups and organisations, and its doors have remained open throughout the majority of the restoration works.
More than 100 people enjoyed a concert there as Jim Muirhead’s Jazz Quartet performed as part of the Uppermill Summer Music Festival.
The weekly coffee afternoons continue each Thursday, with all welcome from 2pm-4pm, and the church also hosts sessions including a mums and tots group, art exhibitions, music and choral recitals, dancing, brownies, guides and kick-boxing.
And the 37th Whit Friday brass band contest was held at Friezland Church Hall in June, with £4,500 raised from the bar, barbecue and café going toward the church’s maintenance.