Mary’s hole-y quest for church roof

Mary Duff is helping the church.

Mary Duff is helping the church.

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Desperate church-goers have landed a hole-y ghost of a chance of fixing their roof... by stalking “mother Mary”!

Congregation members have persuaded Irish singing star Mary Duff to play a charity gig at Conisbrough’s St Peter’s, to raise £47,000 – after two of them “stalked” her!

They hope Mary will not just raise the roof but will help FIX it when she sings in September!

Town residents Keith and Irene Barraclough called in Mary – best known for her duets with Irish entertainer Daniel O’Donnell – after callous lead thieves stripped the church roof for a FIFTH time, leaving South Yorkshire’s oldest building with the huge repair bill.

In March, Conisbrough’s favourite son, Tony Christie, played a one-off show at the Ivanhoe Club to raise cash for the church after hearing about its plight.

Now Mary is set to add her talents at the nearby 350-seat Ivanhoe Centre, at 7.30pm on September 9 – after being persuaded to help by her long-time fans Keith and Irene.

The couple love ballad-singer Mary so much they follow her to shows around the world, and in the last year have seen her perform in four different countries across two continents. This year they have already watched her sing in Toronto and Philadelphia.

Keith said: “Basically we stalked Mary! She’s marvellous and she’s become a personal friend.

“We’ve persuaded her to come to Conisbrough before – she performed in aid of the Mothers’ Union two years ago. But this year our needs are closer to home.

“Thieves have had the lead from the roof five times now. At scrap value, it’s worth about £2,500. But it has cost us £47,000 to repair, and now we can’t even get insurance for more than £5,000. We’ve had to put steel up there.”

“I hope everyone will snap up the tickets to see Mary.

“She performs a little bit of everything, from pop to Irish country music, to gospel and even rock and her Ave Maria rendition is beautiful.