The Bishop of Pontefract at rededication
The Bishop of Pontefract at rededication

guests from left to right
Ken Sharpe - our church organist and electrician.
Chris Foster - site foreman from William Anelay's.
Tim Donlon - technical director also from Anelay's.
Mave Roberts - deputy church warden.
Bishop of Pontefract - Tony Robinson.
Robert Brudenell - son of the patron - Edmund Brudenell of Deene Park.
Cyril and Dianne Gay.
Stuart Beaumont the architect.
Revd Glenn Coggins.
Val Hargreaves - Church warden.

Previous Clergy attend rededication
Previous Clergy attend rededication

clergy from left to right
David Peat, Andy Rowe, Glenn Coggins, Keith Williams and Richard Weller
Front row - Marlene Wilkinson and Karen Campbell.
Karen was a curate and Marlene served as a deaconess and is now assistant priest

St Michaels nave

St Michael's font

St Michael's at sunset

St Michaels in snow

St Michaels nave
Thanksgiving and Rededication of St.Michael's church - Easter 2011.

Welcome to our very special service of Thanksgiving and Rededication of St.Michael's church. We are delighted that you have joined us along with Bishop Tony, Cyril and Dianne Gay, our architect Stuart Beaumont, Tim Donlon, Technical Director and Chris Foster, site foreman, both from William Anelay's the main contractor for the refurbishment. We are also pleased to welcome Robert Brudenell who is representing his father Edmund who is the patron of St.Michael's and we also have former Vicars of the parish and their families - Revd Richard Weller, Revd David Peat, Revd Keith Williams, Revd Andy Rowe and curate Revd Karen Campbell. We also have people with us from the local community and of course our congregation and their friends and families.

There has been a place of worship on the site of the present parish church from about 1160. During the succeeding centuries the original building was altered and extended and in 1879 it was pulled down as it had become unsafe. The current building was consecrated in 1881 when Revd Hill was the incumbent after a major appeal for funds by him and his family. We are indebted to Revd Hill who was Vicar from 1875 until his death in 1928 for not only overseeing the building of St.Michael's but also the building of the Sunday School rooms and St.Gabriel's the mission church down the Falls.

St.Michael's stands as a fine example of Victorian church architecture with many fine features and has continued to develop over its lifetime. For example a new pulpit was added in 1930 in memory of Revd Hill and at the same time the chancel and sanctuary were furnished with oak choir stalls, altar, rails, reredos and paneling. Also an oak screen was placed across the tower arch as a memorial to parishioners killed in World War II. There is also a Norman archway from the older church in the porch and some stained glass windows which are beautiful.

More recently over the past 20 years or so the present congregation has had a vision to continue developing the building to include a kitchen and toilet facilities within the church. Various plans and proposals had been discussed, prayers had been offered, money had been given but it was not until 2010 that plans for a kitchen and toilet area were agreed by the church. It was at this time that Cyril Gay approached the church to offer a major donation to not only complete the present proposals but also totally refurbish the entire church. Mr Gay had lived in the village for over 40 years and opened his first office in Common Lane in 1965. Then in 1972 he moved to a building in Moor Knoll Lane bought from the National Coal Board which in 1990 was knocked down to build a three storey office block 'Northern House' This building continues to serve as Mr Gay's head office for his group of companies. It was in thanksgiving for his life and work in the village that Mr Gay made the donation. As a church congregation and on behalf of the wider village community we are extremely thankfull to Mr Gay for his donation and to other people who have helped down the years in various ways.

The vision of a kitchen, toilet and total refurbishment has now become a reality and after five months work on the church, starting in November 2010, we are delighted with the quality of the work and facilities it now offers the congregation. On the inside of the church there is some fine carpentry work both in the chancel area where the altar has been moved away from the west wall and around the kitchen and font area in the north aisle. The impressive screen under the tower with the image of St.Michael on the door means we can have a creche area during worship and a meeting area at other times. The toilet and cupboards have blended in well under the tower so as not to be intrusive. The entire church inside has been redecorated and with the new lighting the stained glass windows positively shine. Also on the inside the priest vestry and choir vestry have been refurbished with new cupboards and work areas. On the outside much work was done to replace the clock faces and service the clock, new stone was used to replace crumbling stone and a great deal of re-pointing was undertaken on the tower. New drains were laid for the new facilities and rain water drainage and work was done on Church Lane to help parking.

So, as St.Michael's church begins another phase in her ministry, we give thanks for all that has been achieved to enable the refurbishment to go ahead and we pray that as a congregation we may continue to serve and worship a truly amazing and wonderful God. On this Easter day in 2011 when we shout together 'Alleluia! Christ is risen ,he is risen indeed. Alleluia' we pray that we will be Easter people and share the good news of the resurrection to those around us as we journey together in a wonderfully refurbished church.

words from the dedication service