IT’S a church roof that is holier than it should be.
But now worshippers at St Cuthbert’s Church in Birkby are hoping for a warm and dry future.
For years, they have had to put up with water dripping into the building through a leaking roof. Lead in the gutters and channels had cracked and broken.
But now a £300,000 repair project is finally under way.
And it got the thumbs up yesterday from the Bishop of Wakefield, the Right Rev Stephen Platten, who got a birds-eye view of the work from on top of scaffolding.
The work has meant the main church building has had to be shut down and services are being held in the basement crypt.
But the vicar, the Rev Mary Railton-Crowder, believes all the inconvenience will be worthwhile.
“We want a nice, dry, warm venue that is not just a church but a centre for the whole community.
“The building has been well used in the past but we would hope that when all the repairs and renovations are complete, we can see even more members of the community coming here.
“Sadly some of the groups like the lunch club and the toddlers have had to move out because of the state of the building.
“But the church has managed to carry on in the basement as have some of the groups.
“It had got to the stage where people were having to put up with water dripping on their heads so something had to be done.”
The Bishop chatted with the architect, Stuart Beaumont, and was told about progress on repairs to the roof, the timbers and the guttering.
The Grade II listed church dates back to the 1920s and that helped church officials secure grants from English Heritage for some of the restoration work.
They also got funding from the SITA Trust which will help pay for other parts of the project.
Once the main repair work on the roof has been completed, much of the interior of the church will have to be redecorated.
“The building has been closed since the summer but we hope it can re-open in the New Year,” said the vicar.
“We still need to do more fundraising to get all the work completed but hopefully we shall then have a centre which serves the community seven days a week and not just a few hours on a Sunday.”