Joy at lottery cash boost

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Worshippers at an historic Mirfield church are celebrating after it was chosen as one of the first beneficiaries of a new Heritage Lottery Fund scheme.

St Mary’s has been given £207,000 towards a major restoration project by the Grants for Places of Worship programme. It was one of 14 listed churches and chapels in Yorkshire and Humber to win vital funds on Monday.

The Rev Helen Butler said: “It’s a lengthy process and very complicated, but we’re delighted that everyone in the town will benefit from the tower being repaired.

“St Mary’s is a really important place for generations of people in Mirfield and this award will help safeguard it for generations to come.”

Dewsbury and Mirfield MP Simon Reevell publicly congratulated the church back in June, but the official announcement was not made until this week.

St Mary’s, built in 1871 by renowned architect Sir George Gilbert Scott, needs urgent repairs to its tower, stocks and stonework.

Work is also needed on the vestry roof, electrics, pipe organ and tower windows.

“The grant is going to go a long way to the final figure, which is about £250,000,” Mrs Butler said.

“We’ve got about £30,000 left to raise – but it’s a huge sum for a small band of people. We’re looking for community partners – anyone who wants to sponsor us, choose us as their charity or host an event. We’re also looking for support for our programme of events, including the flower festival on August 30.”