A RETIRED Lees woman who spent more than 20 years preparing financial reports has turned her writing skills into a fundraising success for her local church.
Liz Dent’s book ‘Mud and Friendship’, with a colourful cover which she illustrated, charts the story of Leesfield Parish walks up until last year.
In 1998 – the 150th anniversary year of St Thomas’ Leesfield Church – a group of parishioners walked the boundaries.
‘People and Places’ detailing the history of the parish, its churches, including those now closed, and boundary was produced by the vicar.
Now, after the walks were carried out again in 2014 and last year, Liz, who has lived in Lees for 37 years, decided to write an updated version to answer new questions that were raised.
She explained: “We revived the Boundary Walks as a sponsored event and split the walk into accessible stages and encouraged large numbers of participants of all ages.
“During the walks many people asked questions and made comments about local and parish history.
“I decided to research and answer those questions and ended up with a book instead of the little walking guide I had originally planned.”
The 36 pages include a map of the parish boundary and the walk, a detailed stage-by-stage walking guide, history of the parish boundary, churches and local history.
There are old and new photographs and stories from people aged five to 80plus about the area and about their experiences of the walks.
Liz added: “When I decided to publish the book I expected it would appeal mostly to younger people – but there has been a great deal of interest from older people.
“Some older members of our congregation bought copies, and when visitors over Christmas saw it they requested their own copies, although they had no connection with the Churches.
“A neighbour of one of our parishioners even bought a copy to take to New Zealand for her son who had grown up in the area.”
She added proudly: “We have now sold sufficient copies to cover our production costs, and funds from further sales are to go to the Development Fund to provide a new community room with accessible WC and kitchen facilities at St Thomas’ Church.”
The book, costing £5 per copy, can be purchased at St Thomas’ Church, West Street, Lees OL4 5AD after any Sunday Service, which ends at about 12noon. Alternatively ring: 0161 627 4515.
For further information about Leesfield Parish go online: http://leesfieldparish.blogspot.co.uk/