A pretty village church near Ripley fighting to safeguard its future has launched a fundraising appeal to plug a major financial gap.
Having served this rural community for 172 years, time has weighed heavily on the deteriorating infrastructure at the St Michael the Archangel church in Markington.
This small but beautiful church now faces the challenge of paying off a sizable repair bill for by the end of the year after urgent work had to be carred out its leaking roof in 2015 and
The vicar at this Grade 2 listed Victorian building says parishioners were now engaged in a crucial battle to secure the church for future generations.
The Rev Paul Harford said: “Much of the roof is the original Victorian work, and though long-lasting and well built, was coming to the end of its lifetime.
“We were beginning to see more tiles failing, and rainwater running down the walls inside the church.
“A full re-roofing is beyond our reach financially, so it was necessary to undertake lesser, though still substantial, works to make the building watertight so it could continue to serve the local community for the coming years.”
Unsuccessful with grant applications, when the church’s main roof started leaking they had no choice but to carry out the work regardless of the financial challenge.
With the church’s reserves exhausted, borrowings of nearly £10,000 now have to be met.
Located four miles from Ripley, six from Ripon and eight from Harrogate, this Dales church has already received several generous donations but these have not been enough.
The Markington vicar said the appeal was more than about the church’s finances.
The Rev Hardford said: “The church building is a centre of mission and activity of the community and the village.
“It’s more than a building. It’s about preserving a place of spiritual focus, and keeping it open and usable for regular worshippers, and the whole of the village.
The vicar said that church wardens Ian Gant and Charles Hutchinson were doing a terrific job in the maintenance of the building but now was the time to appeal to the wider community for help.
The Markington church is set to hold a series of events in a Church Festival in the hope of raising vital funds, including Wine Tasting, Songs of Praise and a weekend-long Summer Festival.
The festival will include a Summer Garden Party at The Vicarage on Saturday, June 17, a Pop-Up Church at Markington Institute on Sunday, June 18 and a Duck Race at Markington’s cricket field on Sunday, June 18.