Cash pledge for ‘rotten’ church walls

Crumbling: Rev David Ward at Brindle St James Church
Crumbling: Rev David Ward at Brindle St James Church

People from a Chorley parish are praying for a miracle as they set about trying to raise tens of thousands of pounds to restore their crumbling church.

Parishioners from Brindle St James CofE Church - where Rev David Ward is the minister - are preparing to launch their ‘60/60’ campaign to raise £60,000 in just 60 months.

All funds raised will go towards the restoration of the walls of the church, with particular attention paid to the areas around the ancient stained glass windows.

The plaster surrounding the colourful works of art has deteriorated to such an extent that water seeps in every time it rains.

The water has caused extensive damage to the walls, leaving them damp and crumbling.

The tower and chapel of the church date back to the 15th-century date and the nave of the old church was pulled down and the present one built in 1817.

The roof was replaced around 20 years ago but unfortunately the weather-worn structure requires further work to ensure it remains strong for future generations to enjoy.

The work carried out on the roof was funded by money generated by people power and the group behind this latest initiative are hoping that the 60/60 campaign will achieve the same results.

Sam Nicol from the 60/60 campaign, said: “We’ve left it as long as we can, this is not a new problem but if we don’t have the windows fixed then we will end up with a rotten and crumbling church that will be ruined.

“The stained glass windows are beautiful and we are so fortunate to have such a wonderful feature in the church.

“We want as many people to get behind the campaign as the church is at the heart of the village and is there for everyone to use. The church is not just about going to worship every Sunday.

“Everyone, no matter who they are, will use a church at some point in their life, for a wedding or christening or funeral and in Brindle, the church is a great place for people to meet.

“To raise £60,000 in 60 months is very achievable but it’s not a long time so we want to keep the momentum going.”

It’s unclear how much the work to be carried out will cost but more will be known in the next few months as expert assessors investigate the true extent of the damage.

The work to repair and replace the plaster and the areas around the windows could take up to three years to complete.

Sam added: “We will launch the campaign in May and are planning lots of different events from a race day to a tractor pull to raise money.

“Every penny will count towards achieving the target so we hope everyone will get behind the campaign to restore the church for future generations to enjoy.”