a PROJECT to restore Clitheroe’s iconic parish church spire may be nearing completion, but the fund-raising effort to pay for the work is ongoing.
The costs involved in the project have spiralled to a total of £359,000, driven largely by the extra cost of new stone.
This leaves the church with a deficit of around £70,000.
A glimpse of the top of the church spire has been revealed to Clitheroe residents in the past week with it re-emerging over the top of its protective coverings.
The spire’s old weathervane has been restored and reinstated at its pinnacle. And while work continues on the lower levels further levels of scaffolding are gradually being removed.
Priest-in-charge the Rev. Andy Froud told the Clitheroe Advertiser the work is on schedule to be completed by early December.
He added that the rebuilt spire shows the extent of the damage caused by the use of iron in the original construction 168 years ago.
Rev. Froud explained that considerably more stonework has had to be replaced than originally planned due to the presence of even more ironwork than anticipated at survey stage.
“We are very grateful for the support of all of the community of Clitheroe in donating and fund-raising for this major heritage project,” he said. “We are also very grateful of the help of English Heritage in funding roughly half the costs.
“It has been really encouraging to see people’s generosity in what are, for many of us, difficult financial times.
“I am really sorry to have to keep coming back, cap in hand, to ask for money, but I think the fact we have preserved this amazing building for future generations is a great achievement.”
The church plans to celebrate the completion of the work on the spire with a weekend of events culminating in a special service of rededication on February 10th at 10 a.m. with the Bishop of Burnley.