Praise on high for church roof

Patching up a 170-year-old roof proved a holy order for heritage experts.

Worshippers are celebrating after a project to restore Holy Trinity Church in Elsecar, Barnsley, helped to restore the building to its former glory.

A campaign to refurbish the roof began after the church fell into disrepair - blighted by lead thefts and weather damage.

Repairs cost around £230,000 - £90,000 of which came from Holy Trinity fundraisers and the rest of which was awarded by the Heritage English Lottery Fund.

It was then down to Sheffield-based roofing specialists Martin Brooks to answer villagers’ prayers and carry out the work to remove old roof coverings on the 19th century sandstone structure.

Reverend Alison Lamb said: “It’s a huge thanks to the community because we would never have done it without their support.”

Builders replaced natural green Westmorland slate on the nave and chancel and installed Burlington slate on the vestry.

Lime and goats’ hair mortar was used to fix the new roof on to the Grade II-listed church to keep the appearance as close to the original look as possible.

The company was so keen to keep things authentic it did not use the modern method of placing felt under the slates, meaning particular care had to be taken to keep the building dry while work was underway.

Dale Wright, Martin-Brooks’ contracts director, said: “Elsecar church is an impressive example of early English design that has remained largely untouched by the ravages of time.

“Our skilled craftsmen are specially trained in traditional roofing techniques to ensure we can maintain these important architectural gems and preserve the region’s heritage for future generations.”

The scheme was funded by English Heritage.