Barnoldswick church’s restoration appeal

FUND-RAISING: Father Simon Winn with the windows at St Joseph's that have already been restored.
FUND-RAISING: Father Simon Winn with the windows at St Joseph's that have already been restored.

AN APPEAL has been launched in Barnoldswick to help fund the restoration of St Joseph’s Catholic Church’s stained glass windows.

Members of the church in Gisburn Road are holding a series of fund-raising events this year, but have appealed for help from the community.

The church’s priest Fr Simon Winn said the church holds a special place in the town, and not just with those in the congregation. “The church’s founding priest came from Holland so the building has a very Flemish feel and influence. The Stations of the Cross we have are replicas of those in Antwerp Cathedral. From the outside the church gives itself to the community; as a landmark it stands on the main road in an elevated position. It is in keeping with the area and the materials used in its building were local as were the craftsmen, for example the vaulting was done by Briggs and Duxbury. A lot of history of the town is invested in the building and we feel it is important we maintain and protect it.”

Fr Winn said a lot of work has already been done outside the church, with the railings and gardens. The windows at the west end of the church have already been restored, at a cost of £5,000. So far all the work has been funded from within the church as it is not eligible for grants in the same way as the community centre next to the church has been. He said the priority for restoring the windows was to remove “openings” placed in the windows to allow fresh air to circulate at a time when congregations were at risk of catching airborne diseases, and to repair cracked panes. A special compound that is used to clean diamonds will also be used to restore the windows to their former glory.

Fr Winn added: “It is a specialised job and very expensive. We would be very grateful for any help we can get.”

Anyone wishing to help can call the church on 812204.