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Gazette >

All over again

<     src=FOR THE past year they have been refurbishing their parish hall at St MarMagdalenes, Lundwood in Wakefield diocese. Students paintethe interior; all the roof tiles were taken down and washed; the outside wapainted just a couple of weeks ago; but it was workmens replacing the felt oa flat roof that set fire to it all. Now they are waiting to see if thremaining walls should be demolished and are rather hoping that they will bethe Revd James McCaskill told me, so that they can start rebuilding from newBut it has been a great blow, because there is nowhere else for the Sundaschool, which was started in January, or the new club for teenagers which begain February. So it is yet another challenge for a church that, last year, watransformed under the gaze of television viewers in the Channel 4 series PriesIdol.It was a curious title for the modest Mr McCaskill, and the change did nocome easily to the handful of elderly worshipping parishioners whom thAmerican priest took on with the help of the marketing firm Propaganda. Now, htells me, the church has 70 people of all ages coming each Sunday; 17 peopleincluding an entire family, were confirmed in May, and the PCC is mostly madup of 30- to 40-year-olds.He has no regrets whatsoever about leaving the US for what had been run-down Wakefield parish. "Its been absolutely exhausting, but the blessinghave been amazing." 
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