An small but iconic Dales church, passed by thousands of A59 motorists every day, which was threatened with closure has received royal approval for its efforts to turn itself around.
St Andrew’s, Blubberhouses near Harrogate, which urgently needed roof repairs and treatment of old timbers, has recently gone from strength to strength with the formation of The Friends of Blubberhouses Church, and a Listed Places of Worship Roof Repair Fund grant. The people of Blubberhouses and the neighbouring communities have rallied to support fund raising events organised by the Friends Committee.
Now a letter of thanks from Buckingham Palace has been received, after the church held a Flower festival which jointly celebrated the Queen’s 90th birthday and raised funds for the church restoration. The letter says, “The Queen is glad to know your event was well supported and enjoyed by so many in your community, and I am to thank you all very much for your kind thoughts for her Majesty at this time.”
Pat Anderson, Hon Sec. to the Friends of Blubberhouses Church Committee said, “The Queen’s appreciation of everyone’s efforts cannot be surpassed.
“The roof repair work is now completed at St Andrew’s church – immediate result is a noticeably warm church for services. The timber treatment has been carried out, there is a ten year guarantee for this treatment. Any worm holes you may see are old ones!”
A grant was awarded by the Listed Places of Worship Roof Repair Fund which funded essential work on the roof, down pipes and gutters, and treatment for timber infestation.
However, more work is still needed at St Andrews. The next phase is to conserve the distinctive stained glass - the east window is particularly vulnerable to high winds, a feature of Blubberhouses climate. Applications are in hand for grant funding to conserve all the windows.
Services are held at St Andrew’s Church for festivals – and on Christmas Day at 9.30 am there will be a Family service – followed by refreshments. Revd. Julie Bacon will lead the family service, everyone welcome. The church is then closed until Mothering Sunday, 26 March when there will be a special service at 11.00 am.