Radcliffe Parish Church no longer 'at risk' after £500,000 of repairs
AN historic church has been saved — following more than £500,000 of repairs.
Radcliffe Parish Church has now been removed from English Heritage’s “at risk” register.
The 700-year-old building can now continue to act as a place of worship for future generations.
The Grade I listed building was among seven historic churches in Greater Manchester which had fallen into disrepair and placed on the register.
The good news comes as the church, in Church Green, enjoys an increase in the number of worshippers while being used more by the community for meetings and events.
The Rev Carol Hayden, vicar of the church, said: “It’s a really nice feeling to know that the church is going to be here for the next 100 years and beyond.
“At one point several years ago, we did think it would have to close because it was unsafe. It’s good to know it’s no longer at risk.”
In November, 2008, plans were announced to give the church a new lease of life thanks to a £250,000 refurbishment which involved replacing the roof of the medieval building.
It was funded by a £150,000 grant from English Heritage and a £100,000 bequest from parishioner Deric Finney.
A year later, it was announced that further repair work costing £267,000 was needed to the tower amid fears it could collapse at any time due to the “perilous” condition of the masonry.
But the church had to match any grants awarded, and it was at this point that the congregation came into its own.
Mrs Hayden said: “They have been phenomenal and raised £67,000. Other work has included pews being taken out and the building made more accessible, a toilet, a new vestry as well as a new kitchen to make the building more user-friendly.”
Although the church has been taken off the register, it now requires rewiring, which is estimated to cost more than £50,000.
Mrs Hayden is delighted the church has undergone something of a renaissance. She said: “The congregation is growing and has doubled during the past two-and-a-half years. We’ve also got more active within the community, rather than being a place of worship alone.”
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