FUNDING of £15,700 from the Heritage Lottery Fund is helping to ensure the repairs and future of an historic church.
Christ Church Friezland is delighted to announce they have received the initial support from the HLF for urgent repairs to the leaking steeple and tower at the Listed Place of Worship.
Designed and built in 1850 by the famous local architect George Shaw, the magnificent spire of the Victorian Gothic church, along with a large section of the roof, is to be restored.
The development funding has been awarded to help the church progress their plans to apply for a full grant at a later date.
Ultimately it is hoped the restoration will also secure the safety of the important church organ, which was built in 1879 and boasts several stops by the famous Parisian maker Henri Zimmermann.
Tony Littlewood, project spokesperson, said: “We’re delighted that we’ve received this support thanks to National Lottery players.
“Originally built by the Whitehead family who owned the Royal George Mills Christ Church Friezland has given the village not only a place for worship but also a hub for entertainment, education and large group activities for the past 170 years.
“It is wonderful to know that we are a step closer to preserving it for future generations.
“Apart from being the centre for Whit Friday celebrations and Band Contest it is also the hub for our annual Friezland Village Show, which we are hosting again in September.
“We hope more and more people will come and have a look around this beautiful building and follow our progress as the restoration progresses.”
Initial discussions with architects Messrs Lloyd Evans Prichard have taken place to ensure necessary surveys and drawings will be undertaken ready to be approved.
The initial funding is in place and it is expected that if all goes well with further fundraising the ‘delivery phase’ of the building work will commence next summer.
Tony added: “Not only the Parochial Church Council of Christ Church, who have been working tirelessly over many years to restore our Church, but also our congregation and our neighbours are very excited about these developments and delighted that our wonderful building will be carefully preserved for generations to come.
“We are all truly grateful for the help we have been given by our Diocese, the Heritage Lottery Fund and all those people who give freely to assist in the important restoration.”
The vibrant church is not only a focus of worship but along with the Church Hall serves the community for many other functions such as christenings, weddings and funerals.
These include a weekly ‘mums and tots’ group, afternoon café, art exhibitions, music and choral recitals, green gym, dancing, brownies, guides, kick-boxing and Whit Friday Band Contests.
Find out more about Christ Church Friezland online at: www.cofeinsaddleworth.org.uk or on Facebook.