News

Last edited by webmaster on 19 September 2016 - 9:09am

New Altar Frontal for Ordinary time (15 Jul 15)

Thanks to a generous anonymous gift, a second green altar frontal, fall and stole have been added to our collection and are being used during Ordinary Time alternately with our existing green frontal.

 

  • Anne Smith writes about our Altar Frontals here



 Church Roof Appeal Appeal Target of £100,000 achieved!! (updated 19 Sep 16)

The overall cost of the project to renovate the stone flagged roofs at St Luke’s is about £223,000, towards which the Heritage Lottery Fund has generously agreed to provide just under half.   The PCC launched the Roof Appeal in November 2013 with an initial target of £100,000 to raise the extra money not available from its own resources.  By the end of March 2015, contributions to the Appeal had already passed £98,000 which was a fantastic response from churchgoers and the local community. 

Over £2,500 was raised during the recent ‘Raising the Roof’ Weekend from Church Hall activities, the St Luke's Community Choir Concert and the sponsored marathon Hymn Play by our Vicar,Paul, and Music Director, Wendy, easily passing the Roof Appeal target of £100,000. This is a tremendous result and our sincere thanks go to everyone involved in organising and supporting all the fundraising events.

      read more about our 'Raising the Roof' Weekend here
 

With the generous support for the Appeal from churchgoers and the local community alike, coupled with a grant of £101,400 from the Heritage Lottery Fund, the PCC can now meet all the £211,000 cost to complete the roof restoration project.  The work started at the beginning of May and was completed at the end of November.

      see stages in the roof refurbishment here 


Further monies coming into the Appeal have been used to fund urgent work needed to the church tower roof and bell chamber which was not eligible for grant assistance. 

The PCC is working on further church building development projects, such as providing toilet facilities and improved and safer access into the church.  You can still continue to give towards these projects through the blue envelopes in church or securely on line through www.stlukesroof.net  which is linked to the secure charities giving site, BT MyDonate.



 


Harvest Festival October 2014 

   
  
 

 


 

Afternoon Tea in the Vicarage Garden June 2014

        

On Sunday 29th June the Social committee organised an afternoon tea in the Vicarage Garden. About 50 people joined us on a pleasant dry afternoon – although in the morning we weren’t so sure as it rained, and after we finished the sun came out brightly, so we were very lucky.

There were sandwiches, cakes and of course scones with strawberry jam and cream, along with endless cups of tea for the two hours we were there.

 

There was also a Fairtrade stall (selling handbags half price!! Pippa and I made use of that) selling all sorts of things including the usual chocolate and biscuits, but also very attractive gifts.
Pat and Lew entertained the children, Gavin did a fantastic tombola, and there was a raffle and cake stall. Due to lower numbers we decided not to do the annual balloon race.

We would like to thank Paul and Sue for the loan of their beautiful garden and for all the people who came along to make it a very successful afternoon (well, they ate all the food anyway!!).

Thank you everyone – not sure how much was raised yet but all profits will go to the Church Roof Fund.

Carole Elliott (who also provided the photos)


                   


Saturday 11th May 2013

Our organist, Christine Jones, completed her 14 hour organ playing marathon for the Barnabus charity
 

Christine took on this personal challenge to help raise much needed funds for the Barnabus* charity helping the homeless and vulnerable on the Manchester streets.  Many friends and visitors came into the church during the day to encourage and support her and make their own donations during her marathon playing session.  Apart from occasional comfort and feeding breaks she played continuously from 6.30am to 8.30 pm - and then resumed playing at 8.30am for the regular Sunday morning - no mean feat for an octagenarian!!

Carol Price, the development manager for Barnabus*, supported Christine throughout the day and warmly thanked her on behalf of the charity after the final part of the marathon.  This ended with a "last night of the Proms" style flourish, for which we were joined by Fiona Bruce, our M.P. for the Congleton constituency, with the singing of Land of Hope and Glory.  By the 19th May, donations with eventual Gift Aid tax relief totalled over £2,200 -  a superb effort for the Barnabus* charity for which they are immensely grateful.


Please note that members of St. Luke's Church regularly support Barnabus* financially and with gifts of food (non-perishable) and clothing - these can be placed in the box or on the seat in the church porch.  Find out more about what Barnabus* does and how you can help from their website or by phoning: 0161 237 3223

*Barnabus is a registered charity, no. 1055993: 37 & 45 Bloom Street, Manchester M1 3LY 


East Window repair and restoration - now completed (3 Apr 13)

The contractors Recclesia have completed their workshop restoration and repair of the three main stained glass sections of our East Window (see below).  Reinstallation work started as planned on Monday 19th March but completion was delayed so that the surrounding stone-work inside and outside the window could also be properly cleaned and repaired where necessary.  The cleaning involved careful chemical treatment which took several days to work and had to be done before the glass and new external protective grilles were put back.  The whole project is costly and needs to be done right.  Unfortunately in spite of the best efforts of the Recclesia staff to get through the heavy snows in March,  the window couldn't be replaced in time for Easter.  However we are delighted to tell you it is now back (see below), restored to its original glory to enhance our worship - well worth waiting for!  Why not come in and see it for yourself during a service.

Steve Smith, Tim Fryer, Val Cragg - 3 April 2013


St. Luke’s – the challenge of maintaining the heritage of our church building – coming projects (updated June 2013)

Our church is an English Heritage, Grade I listed building, dating from about 1430 and is said to rank high among Cheshire's timber framed churches. As well as being the centre for our parish worship, the prominent position of the church in the heart of the village means that the condition of the building is important to those who live, work and shop in Holmes Chapel. Consequently we have a collective responsibility to ensure that the building is kept in good repair so that the heritage of the Parish Church is preserved for the benefit of future generations.
The Conservation Architect who advises the PCC about church buildings produces a report on their condition every 5 years, the last of which was issued in Feb 2010. Unsurprisingly, when considering a building of which parts date from the 15th century, he listed a number of items needing attention with a range of urgency from “immediate” to “before the next report in 2015”. The PCC has dealt with the most urgent items and is now attending to the remainder, ensuring that repairs are carried out to the high standard required for grade I listed buildings i.e. “like for like” repairs with similar materials and techniques. 
The remaining major items from the Architect’s report include:
1.      East Window: repair/restoration of the stained glass at a cost of about £15,000 (including necessary cleaning of surrounding stonework) – faculty permission was obtained from Chester Diocese and work was started in Jan 2013 and was completed in April (see above).
2.     South Windows: replacement of the damaged oak frames and repairs/restoration to the leaded glass in four ground floor windows at a cost of about £14,000 – faculty permission is being sought from the Diocese for a phased project but one of the frames is affected by rot and will be dealt with first.
3.      Roof: the main roof of heavy stone flags is progressively failing and repair and restoration is now critical both to conserve the fabric and to ensure continuing safety. Water and damp penetration from the failing roof and the lead valley gutter represents a serious and urgent threat to the important 15th century timber fabric of the church – repair and refurbishment has been estimated at a total cost now of about £217,000 pounds (including 20% VAT, part of which may now be recoverable retrospectively).
We are fortunate in being able to cover the cost of the first two items from the PCC’s unreserved funds and the help of anonymous donations. However, for the roof works, the PCC will only be able to contribute about £36,000 of the total sum from its own unreserved funds.  Our initial application for a grant from the Lottery Fund administered by English Heritage was unsuccessful.  We have now reapplied (May 2013) to the Heritage Lottery Fund but will not know until the autumn whether a grant will be obtained. To support our grant application and to see if there is any other solution than major re-roofing, the roof has been surveyed by specialist roofing contractors.  This inspection has confirmed that complete restoration and refurbishment of the roof is urgently needed.  As a result the PCC will need to launch a general public appeal for at least £70,000 at the end of 2013 to ensure that there are sufficient funds to carry out the necessary roofing works. 
Lastly, but of equal of importance to preserving the historic fabric, we have to ensure that the facilities within our church continue to be fit for their purpose in enhancing our worship. Thus, the PCC is pressing ahead with updating our sound and projection systems in church and our ability to use modern visual presentations as part of our services.  We are also looking at improving disabled access and providing toilet facilities.   Relying on the continuing support by Church members through our Planned Giving Scheme, we hope to be able to finance much of these developments from income whilst still maintaining our other charitable commitments outside the parish.
So, we face a challenging time financially and some inevitable physical disruption within the church building. Our forebears have provided us with a magnificent heritage as the centre for our worship to the glory of God. We are confident that with His grace we will be able to respond to the challenge and continue the stewardship of our heritage for the benefit of future generations. We will keep you informed regularly as things develop and about how you can help us meet the challenge. 
 
Steve Smith, Tim Fryer, Val Cragg, Jane Thomson – your Churchwardens
 

civil war skirmishes around St. Luke's? - read the latest update (August 2012) from Amanda Wynne, the lead researcher of the University of Huddersfield team, working with the Blackden Trust to investigate the impact scars at the base of the church tower - here 


our changed altar frontals .....

Over time, our existing altar frontals have become damaged and tired and perhaps so familiar that we do not engage with them. However, due to the generosity of a bequest, we have been able to replace the altar frontals.  They have been in place for several months now arrived and we hope you agree that they enrich the quality of our worship as well as adding to the adornment of the church.

read more here.....