By Katherine Turner
St John’s Church in Wortley is hosting an Evensong event with the Bradford Cathedral Choir to celebrate the long-awaited completion of their roof repairs.
As reported in WLD St John’s Church has been waiting many years to have essential roof repairs completed.
The Reverend Chris Balding said: “The work started on 19 July and was supposed to finish on 6 September. Due to the weather and other surprises that were found the work has only just finished. This has been in planning and preparation for the last seven years.
“We feel wonderful that the work has finished. There was talk a number of years ago that the church might not be a safe place to gather in, so to be able to invest in our building for the future really sets us on a solid foundation. The building has been there for 130 years and we plan on being there for the next 130, God willing.”
The church, which has parishioners from the Farnley and Wortley areas has seen a recent increase in numbers and Rev Balding still has many plans to keep the church flourishing.
“Now that the roof is watertight we can begin to think about reordering and redecorating the inside of the church. Anyone who has been in can’t help but notice the slightly peeling walls,” he said.
“The ceiling is also crumbling, the floor is incredibly uneven, and the sound system is dodgy on a good day. We’re hoping over the next few years to create a wonder-filled welcoming space at the heart of the community for worship, prayer, and mission. We’d love to put solar panels on the hall roof and underfloor heating in the church to create our own carbon neutral energy as well as increased insulation in the roof. It would be great to have a little kitchenette and some accessible toilets in the church to make it a really welcoming space.
“It’s a big task ahead of us to make this wonderful old building fit for purpose in the 21st century. As great as the church building is, it’s important to remember that the church is the people of God and without all those who gather to worship Jesus and serve the parish we would be nothing.”
To celebrate, the church would like to welcome people to come and enjoy a Choral Evensong on Sunday, 22 October at 4.30pm.
“The celebration will be a wonderful way to give thanks for all the hard work of so many people over the last few years. And to give thanks to God for his faithfulness throughout the long journey to finishing the roof. The tradition of evensong goes back many centuries and so it reminds us of the building that we have inherited from previous generations and connects us to their faithfulness to Wortley and Farnley.”
St John’s Church is based on Dixon Lane Road, Wortley, Leeds, LS12 4RU.