Stepping out for church’s £100,000 building work appeal

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CHURCHGOERS have launched a £100,000 appeal to fund vital building work.

Parishioners at St Mary’s Roman Catholic Church in Gibbet Street and St Alban’s on Huddersfield Road set themselves the task of raising the cash at a packed meeting at the parish centre on Clarence Street.

The two churches combined into one larger parish in 2005 and is led by parish priest Father Martin Kelly.

A number of repairs and maintenance projects need doing urgently. The main one is a new heating system at St Mary’s, but there are also issues with asbestos and out-of-date electrical infrastructure, as well as leaking roofs and windows.

Father Kelly said: “I’m not saying that it will be easy, but we will do this. We are just stewards of the buildings and we want to pass them onto future generations in good shape.

“There was a fantastic breadth of fundraising ideas from the meeting and it shows the determination of the parish to make this happen.”

One of the fundraising projects is a sponsored Deanery walk taking in all eight Catholic churchs in the Halifax area – from Mytholmroyd to Queensbury.

An Italian Evening is being held at Halifax Catholic Club in Hopwood Lane on Friday, February 23, and a Race Night is being held in March. There is a full programme of events planned for the year.

Parishioner Tomasz Bzdyra, 42, is aiming to cover 120 miles of the Pennine Way in four days as part of the fundraising effort.

Tomasz, who lives in Siddal but originally from Wroclaw in Poland, said: “When Father told me about the fund, I wanted to help and the one thing I’m good at is walking. It’s going to be tough, carrying my kit on my back. I just wanted to do my bit to help.”

To donate to Tomasz’s effort, visit www.justgiving.com/campaigns/charity/dioceseofleeds/stmaryalbanhalifax.