Names on the roof

01 November 2013

PEOPLE have bought and signed bricks, and even paving stones, as donations towards the building and refurbishing of churches. At St Michael and All Angels, Witton Gilbert, in the diocese of Durham, they have been signing roof slates.

Although the suggested donation was £5 a slate, they have been given up to £50 and more, and with 700 slates already purchased they have raised more than £8000 towards the £100,000 needed for replacing the church roof.

A member of the PCC, Robin Minney, came up with the idea of "Your name in the sky", and it has captured the imagination of people from as far afield as Manchester and Worthing. Another PCC member, Stephen Ellis, says that the initiative has also encouraged grant-making bodies such as English Heritage, which has awarded £55,000 towards the work.

It is all part, the Team Vicar, Canon Caroline Dick (pictured), says, of a £262,000 investment to support the church's Breathing Space programme, designed to make the building more accessible to the public with new flooring, heating, seating, and a kitchen/meeting room.

Breathing Space is a health and well-being project that involves organisations' working with a variety of people, including those with mental-health problems, and takes advantage of the church's setting next to a nature reserve. It offers courses in art and relaxation, along with healing sessions and teaching people about wildlife.

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