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Appeal to help preserve beloved Barton Church for future generations

Barton Church

[B]arton Church needs you! Members of St. Michael Barton Parochial Church Council [PCC] are appealing to the local and wider community to pledge their support now to help secure the long-term future of Barton Church. Time and weather have taken their toll on this historic building and some major re-pointing work is now required to the exterior walls and particularly to the tower. The project is estimated to cost in the region of £40,000, of which scaffolding costs represent over 40%.

This popular and much-loved local church has played a part in the lives of thousands of locals over the years. Dating back to the 12th century, it has celebrated the key moments in the year for the local community as well as births, marriages and deaths of generations of Barton parishioners as well as families from the Penrith area and much further afield.

Henry Pitt, Churchwarden, said: “We’re very fortunate to have such an architecturally unique and historic church, which is generally in an excellent condition, serving our community and holding aspects of our local heritage spanning over eight centuries. However now is the time to act – as the saying goes ‘a stitch in time, saves nine’.”

Anglican churches are legally bound to have five-yearly (Quinquennial) inspections of the condition of the building both internally and externally. In 2008, the Inspection identified gaps in the pointing in some areas of the walls. Five years on and the 2013 inspection highlighted further areas where pointing is missing, particularly on the tower. A survey of the exterior of the church earlier this year revealed significant additional deterioration. However, as the survey and previous inspections of the pointing have all been done from ground level using binoculars, the full extent of the defective pointing can only be determined by in situ inspection which requires extensive, and expensive, scaffolding to provide access.

The basic structure of the church, including the roof, is sound and there is little sign of dampness within the building. Given the high cost of the scaffolding it is vital that all defective pointing is replaced to enable the existing condition of the interior of the church to be maintained for many years to come. Unfortunately without this the deterioration is likely to accelerate over time, especially in the severe winters we are told to expect.

In light of this, the Parochial Church Council [PCC] have decided to initiate a project to undertake all the re-pointing work needed. Grants totalling £6,000 have already been secured from the Headley, Allchurches and Franklin Trusts and further grant applications are in the process of preparation.

So the PCC is now turning to the local community to seek Pledges of financial support for the project on the understanding that if other funding received requires a local contribution lower than the total amount pledged then the contributions taken will be reduced in proportion. Put simply if £20,000 is pledged and only £10,000 is needed then actual contributions will be half of the amount originally pledged.

To date, pledges totalling £10,000 have already been given by church members. The wider community are now being asked for Pledges of support on the same basis.  The PCC hope that, once funding has been secured, the work will be carried out in the late Spring and early Summer of 2018 when weather conditions are suitable. To make your pledge please contact PCC Treasurer, Cyril Wilson by email at [email protected] or by phone on 01768 486990 for a Pledge form. Please note all pledges are made in strictest confidence.

Barton Church is located between the villages of Tirril and Pooley Bridge and is open to visitors at all times Details of all regular services can be found here: https://www.achurchnearyou.com/barton-st-michael/

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