Barnsley Church Warden Raises Roof Repair Fund

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Barnsley Church Warden Raises Roof Repair Fund

When faced with a £92,000 repair bill for the roof of a 17th century Barnsley church, churchwarden Jonathan Bell geared up for a sponsored run – while wearing a large cardboard model of the building he hopes to save.

According to The Star, Mr Bell departed from All Saint’s Church in Cawthorne on Sunday 23 August for a 9.2-mile run, before donning the church ‘costume’ and making a return trip, a total of 18.4 miles.

The decision to take on the sponsored challenge came about when discovering the bill for the roof repairs would be a massive £92,000. Mr Bell had been helping clear the guttering, thinking it was the cause of damp in the church, but found that the stone guttering has collapsed, and water was seeping into the walls, which led to dry rot.

However, the imposed coronavirus restrictions meant that the usual channels of fundraising for the church, such as Cawthorne open gardens and the summer fete, could not take places and there was a race to get the work done before winter settled in.

“Three weeks ago, when I found out about it, it set off alarm bells, because we’ve got a hole in the church roof. If that isn’t sealed for the winter, and water gets in, the organ inside is a grade one listed organ, and I think there’s only a few of them in the country,” said Mr Bell.

The church is the third one to stand on the site, which was mentioned in the Doomsday Book of 1086. Work began on the current iteration of the church in the early 17th century, which has kept features from earlier buildings.

The north aisle arcade dates back to the 13th century, and the tower dates back to the 15th century.

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