Blog from the Vicarage – 05 March 2021

A weekly message during Lockdown from St Peter’s Vicar, Rev John Rainer

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This week I fear I have to bring you some less good news regarding our buildings.  Over a number of years we have been aware that the roof areas over the hall were approaching the end of their life. This was mentioned for awareness for future work in a number of quinquennial reports from our architects. In September last year, following a storm, the Staff  became aware of a serious problem with the roof areas over the halls. Immediate action was taken to address those issues and prevent further leaks and damage, but it was advised that the roofs were in very poor condition generally. We spoke to the church architect and requested him to draw up a schedule of repairs. This was put out to tender by the PCC in January.

The quotes for the work were not good news, consistently coming back at between £85,000 and £90,000. The work is urgent and the PCC would like to be able to instruct a contractor to do this work during the coming summer months. However, despite the fact that our finances have been looked after very carefully over the last twelve months, we so far only have around £20,000 towards this work. We also need to meet our obligations to the Diocese in terms of paying our Share.

Our halls have been well used by our community over the years. There are very few available indoor community spaces in Saltaire, and those that exist can be very expensive. Using our buildings to bless the community around us has been part of our mission for many years, and as we emerge from lockdown we feel that it is vital to continue to reach out to our community in this way. So if our halls are to remain reliably useful now and in the future we have to get this roofing work done. We believe that this will substantially improve the insulation of the buildings and reduce our heating bills and our impact on the environment.

Last year we did not have a Gift Day for our own church’s work. The PCC and many others felt that our mission partners abroad deserved priority. This year – whilst not neglecting our mission partners  –  we are laying before you our need to service our own mission to the community of Shipley. Can we raise this finance to ensure that we can pay the contractors as soon as the work is done?

This may sound to some like an impossible call in times like these. However, I would encourage everybody to consider that as recently as 2006 we put out an appeal for £350,000 to completely reorder the church. It is true that there were a few more of us around then, and that we applied for a certain amount of grant assistance which duly arrived, but the majority came in from the generous giving of the congregation. This time round we will again do some work on fundraising and applying for grants where we can, but once again we are asking you to pray about your giving in the light of present need.


We are very much hoping that by Easter Sunday (4th April) St Peter’s building will be open again for worship in some form – more about this next week! Having encouraged you to pray about your giving this month, we would therefore like to designate Easter Sunday also as a Gift Day when we can receive your one-off gifts for this project. The appeal will then remain open through the month of April, and we will let you know how we have done, possibly at the Annual Parochial Meeting which is being planned for the end of April.

Donations can be made either through the donate button on the website, by direct payment to the church bank account (sort code 05-09-04 account number 63343688) or by cash or a cheque payable to St. Peter’s Shipley and sent to Mike Moss, 31 Nab Wood Grove, Shipley, BD18 4HR.

With love and prayers,

John Rainer

Lord, teach our hearts to give freely without counting the cost.Let nothing in this world keep us from reflecting your generosity.Let us trust that when we are generous, you will ensure that our needs are taken care  of, for you are our Good Shepherd. Amen

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