Members of St Michael and All Angels Church at Linton Falls have set themselves the mammoth task of raising £50,000 in a ‘flush fund’ to help improve the facilities at the church for parishioners and visitors alike.
The ambitious plans include a new toilet and a servery.
"Toilets are really important in all buildings that serve the community," explained churchwarden Helen Davey; "but following the demise of an early composting toilet, anyone visiting the church has to use a portaloo in the carpark. That’s why we set up the Flush Fund."
Churchwarden Mark Ludlam explained that the planned developments would improve the outreach of the church and help combat rural isolation: "The church community provides a vital role in the local community and offers a place of welcome to all. It is important that our facilities offer modern conveniences and the opportunity for refreshments and social space."
The present church building can trace its origins back to the 12th century and has been described as a ‘gem’ and ‘picture perfect’ by visitors to Upper Wharefdale.
The plans seek to blend the new facilities with the historic beauty of the building without changing any of the ancient structure. "St Michael’s is a beautiful prayerful space, a very important place to the local communities of Grassington, Threshfield and Linton, and to visitors to Wharfedale’, said Mrs Davey. She added: ‘it is important to us to meet the practical needs without diminishing the character of the building."
"Working in harmony with an ancient building is an expensive affair," reflected Rector David Macha. He was pleased that the Flush Fund had already raised over £30,000. "It has been wonderful to see how the church community has set to the task of raising the funds for this much needed project," he said.
Much of the funding has come from local efforts and a significant amount from the Friends of St Michael’s, in addition to some smaller grant funding.
The church hopes to complete the fundraising in the next few months. "We’ve been sitting on this for a while, and we’d be very relieved to have a working toilet!" said Revd David. "We'd love all those who hold St Michael’s dear, to help us to reach the Flush Fund goal."
Those willing to assist in the church’s fundraising are asked to contact Mark Ludlam, Meade House, White Hills Croft, Skipton, BD23 1LW. Cheques and donations should be made payable to ‘St Michael’s Linton’.