A WIGAN church is launching an appeal to pay for a restoration project.
Work has already started at St Elizabeth’s Church in Aspull on a five-year scheme to completely renovate the 135-year-old church.
And although funding from various bodies has been secured, the parishioners still need support from members of the public.
David Jones, church warden, said: “As long as we can keep the money coming in we will continue with the restoration work that needs doing on the church.
“We started work on the bell tower before Christmas to replace the roof but when the workers got up there they found that it was much worse than initially thought.
“Most of the wooden and metal support beams had rotted through and we were told that the entire roof could have collapsed at any time.
“The idea is to repair and restore the building to something like its original state and until that’s done we can’t even consider anything else that needs doing.
“The heating system needs replacing as it gets quite cold in the church at times and the lighting needs updating, but we need to concentrate on sorting the building out first.”
The church serves much of the local area and a number of other churches use St Elizabeth’s cemetery, so church members are appealing to those people as well as those further afield to help them with the project which will allow it to continue to be the centre of the community for many more years to come.
Mr Jones said: “We are thinking about the long term with this project and want the church to be a welcoming and homely place for the future generations.
“We have had a number of grants which have helped greatly but we know we have to do our bit and have had some money which has built up over a number of years which we will be putting towards the work as well as continuing to raise more money.”
The church has already secured £26,000 in funding from a number of bodies but the total cost of the project is likely to be closer to £50,000 which it must make up itself.
Mr Jones added: “We understand that times are very bad now and we appreciate that but if any firms or families can assist either by donations or by organising fund-raising events, no matter how small, we will be extremely grateful.
“If the worst did happen and the church had to close it would be very sad, that is the worst case scenario but its not an impossibility.”
For more information or to make a donation call Mr Jones on 01942 523493.