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Brighter future for Sandsend’s church

St Mary's Church, Sandsend, appeal committee, from left: Ralph Bagnall-Wild, Irene Raine, Malcolm Lloyd, Carolyn Russell, Mike Russell and Adrian Wood.
St Mary's Church, Sandsend, appeal committee, from left: Ralph Bagnall-Wild, Irene Raine, Malcolm Lloyd, Carolyn Russell, Mike Russell and Adrian Wood.

A £190,000 building project to repair St Mary’s Church in Sandsend and to create a new

community hall within the church building is now in its final stages, with completion

expected by the end of October.

St Mary’s faced an uncertain future in mid-2016 after a survey had highlighted the need for repairs, but there was no money to pay for them.

Project manager Adrian Wood said: “Initially a figure of £25,000 had been estimated for some of the more basic repairs, but it soon became clear that the cost of repairing the building fully would be at least £70,000, without starting to look at any of the community aspects.

Following a consultation within Sandsend, a fundraising committee of six local residents launched an appeal not only to repair St Mary’s, but also to create village hall facilities within the Victorian church building. This would enable it to be used for such things as village events, social gatherings and receptionswhile securing the future of St Mary’s as the village church.

Committee member Irene Raine said: “St Mary’s has always been a very special place within Sandsend and the joint community and church use will make it the focal point of the village.”

Former Whitby Lifeboat cox Mike Russell added: “The response to the appeal by the people of Sandsend has been amazing, far exceeding anything we could have imagined when we started.”

So far, more than £80,000 has been raised from within the village The North York Moors, Coast and Hills LEADER Programme is funding the majority of the cost of the new extension and disabled toilet, together with a new entrance porch. Yorventure, through funds generated by Yorwaste Ltd, is paying for re-roofing, the insulation of the roof, and for a new heating system.

The Normanby Charitable Trust, National Lottery Awards for All, and the Sirius Minerals Foundation have all made significant donations.

In addition Howdens Joinery donated and fitted the kitchen, along with other building materials while Sky Scaffolding provided scaffolding free of charge.

“York Diocese have been very supportive of the community project from the outset,” said Malcolm Lloyd, “and have helped and advised us in so many ways. In addition, we have had a lot of encouragement from the local Parochial Church Council.”