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'Everyone is just so delighted' - Parishioners return at Glossop's largest church

Parishioners were back in church for the first time in more than 18 months.

Glossop's largest church has held its first mass since the first phase of an extensive renovation was carried out. 

Specialist conservation contractors finished last week and, thanks to the sterling efforts of volunteers, St Mary's Crowned was cleaned up and ready to welcome parishioners on Sunday (5 September) to their first mass. 

Sue Nash, a member of the Glossop Parishes Maintenance Committee, explained why the work was necessary at the church on Sumner Street. 

She said: "We had a lot of water ingress and had plaster coming off the walls. It all had to be done with lime plaster as it is Grade 2 listed building." 

The view of the new-look church from the altar 

The whole building was also redecorated, with a specialist brought in to identify the original colour scheme. This has now been recreated as near to the original as possible using heritage paint. 

“The ceiling was maroon and it's now white and it looks stunning,” said Sue.  

Work was also carried out to repair the wooden block floor, which had started to lift in places.

The church has been closed since December to allow work to take place. 

Some of the repair work taking place 

In the meantime, mass has been held - when coronavirus restrictions has allowed - at the nearby church hall on St Mary's Road. 

“Everybody loves the new look," Sue added. "A lot of people over a lot of years have been raising money for this and everyone is just so delighted to get back into their church.” 

On Tuesday (7 September) at 7pm, a Celebration Mass, led by Bishop Patrick McKinney, will be held. Also there will be Father Martin Sylvester and Father Greg Tobin, who was at the church when the fundraising project began. 

What the church looks like now the repairs and redecoration have been carried out  

Writing in his latest parish newsletter, Father Martin Sylvester said he was delighted Bishop Patrick and Father Greg would be in attendance. 

“I know I'm not alone in my admiration and gratitude for the sterling efforts of Father Greg and the past and present members of the Glossop Parishes Maintenance Committee," he said. 

“The completion of the first phase of the project is a testament to the way that they have planned and overseen this project, in liaison with diocesan authorities, professional advisers and contractors. 

“Heartfelt thanks too to those people whose wonderful generosity has made the work possible.” 

The church building on Sumner Street 

Fundraising is continuing to fund the next phase of work, which will include the provision of additional toilet facilities and a cafe/social/meeting area. 

For more information on how to donate, go to tinyurl.com/savestmarys

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