Kirklees' youngest councillor takes on sponsored walk to replace boiler in 1870s church

Kirklees’ youngest councillor is gearing up for a mighty sponsored walk to help buy a new boiler for a local church.

By Tony Earnshaw , Local Democracy Reporting Service
Wednesday, 12th January 2022, 1:17 pm
Josh Sheard, Conservative councillor for Birstall and Birkenshaw, who intends walking from Birstall to York Minster to raise money for St Saviour’s Church in Birstall. With the Revd Mike Green. (Image: LDRS)

Josh Sheard, who was just 19 when he was elected to represent the Conservatives in Birstall and Birkenshaw last year, is planning to walk from St Saviour’s Church at Brownhill in Birstall to York Minster.

And the reason? To help keep parishioners warm and dry.

During the course of last year the ageing boiler at the 1870s church on Brookroyd Lane broke down.

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A bespoke part was hand-made at a cost of £600 but ultimately failed. Now the entire boiler needs replacing. The bill has been estimated at an eye-watering £60,000.

In addition the church has been unable to complete repairs to the roof, which have been needed for some time.

As a consequence Josh will be putting his best feet forward in April – and wants others to join him on his trek.

He said: “I am looking for a group of people who are also interested in taking up the journey to support the church.

“We have set a target of at least £2,000 but if we can raise more that would be great.

An online fundraiser via GoFundMe has so far raised £155 and the quest has also been supported by the local Co-op and Birstall café The Cobbles.

Added Josh: “Any help anyone can offer, whether it’s creating their own fundraiser with the church or supporting the church walk, would be fantastic and the whole congregation would be incredibly grateful.”

The GoFundMe page can be found here: