Words by Matt Taylor
MAJOR restoration works are on track at historic Christ Church Friezland thanks to fundraising and support from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
The Grade II listed building has completed the first step of a two-phase plan to repair the roof and also return the majestic spire and bell tower to its former glory.
The first phase is where all necessary surveys investigations, calculations and plans are put together to go out to tender for the work, then step two is the delivery phase.
Tony Littlewood, the project’s spokesperson, said: “In February, a ‘cherry picker’ arrived that extended higher than that of the steeple and a photographic survey was carried out.
“Other investigations have included an environmental survey where fortunately no bats were found in the belfry.
“The Church was initially granted round one development funding of £15,700 by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), allowing them to develop plans to repair the spire, tower, west gable and rainwater goods.
“If everything goes according to plan, detailed proposals will be considered by the HLF and an award of up to £141,900 will be confirmed.
“The Diocese is also continuing to assist us and has already set funds aside, but it is critical we ourselves can raise funding to bridge the gap.
“Currently around £20,000 will be required before we can go ahead with the urgent repairs and see this phase completed.”
Major work on restoring the Victorian church’s roof and spire is expected to commence in late August or early September.
To ensure work can go ahead, fundraising events are being held, starting with a concert on Saturday, June 9.
Top A Cappella choir The Monday Mondays will be performing in Church, with all the money raised going towards funding the repairs.
The performance starts at 7.30pm. Tickets cost £6 available from Elaine on 07764 658349. Refreshments will be on sale on the night.
Find out more about Christ Church Friezland online:
www.cofeinsaddleworth.org.uk or on Facebook.