30/10/2012 - Haworth Parish Church reopens
All images courtesy Steven Wood
Oh, the towering feeling!
You could forgive the Haworth Parish Church congregation for being in a joyful mood this week because the five-month temporary closure of St Michael and Angels, the Anglican Church at the centre of the historic Worth Valley village, will come to an end on Sunday 4th November 2012.
The Church has been closed since July while the first part of their three-part restoration plan was completed with the programme of repairing the south-facing roofs, drainage and tower being undertaken.
Now the first stage, which has cost £230,000, is close to completion and the congregation hope to celebrate by staging their first service in the Victorian building that houses the grave of the majority of the Bronte family on Sunday.
And, if the congregation cast their eyes to the skies, besides fulfilling their religious duties they will see that the tower looks more like the structure that stood guard over the hill-top village for many years.
Besides being made watertight again, the opportunity has been taken to replace two missing pieces of masonry. Now the tower once again boasts eight pinnacles pointing upwards after many years of having to be satisfied with just six.
Rev. Peter Mayo-Smith, the Priest in Charge at Haworth Parish Church, explained: “Two of the pinnacles, or finials as some people call them, were taken down because their fixing points were very worn and the Church didn’t want stone-work falling on peoples’ heads.
“We were offered replacements at a very reasonable cost and it’s wonderful to see the Church tower properly crowned once again. It’s also good to know that the masonry skills necessary to produce these impressive pieces of stone still exist.
“We shall be working through the week to clean and re-heat the Church in the hope that we can have our service in there next Sunday. We’ve been holding services in the Old School Room across the other side of Church Street and, while we’ve been very comfortable in those surroundings, it’ll be wonderful to be back in Church after all these months. I’m sure the wait will have been worthwhile.”
Currently the Church is seeking grant aid to start the second part of the plan, the repair of the north-facing roofs, a challenge that has been made more difficult by having failed to secure a grant from English Heritage in this year’s round of funding.
Added Rev. Mayo-Smith: “It was a real disappointment to learn that English Heritage couldn’t support us this time and we’re mulling over what options are available to us. We need in the region of £200,000 to complete the north roof repair element of the plan.”
360 panoramas from the church tower as it used to be here...
About Haworth Parish Church here...
Inside Haworth Parish Church here...
Inside Haworth Parish Church Tower here...
About Haworth Bell Ringing here...