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Parish church and hall in Lundwood

04 January 2013


From the Revd Kevin Maddy
Sir, - I would like to correct inaccuracies in your brief report "Priest Idol church reopens after fire" (News, 21/28 December).

First, may I say that the people of St Mary Magdalene's and the Lundwood community do not identify their church with the TV series Priest Idol, and would perhaps be disappointed that the 80-year history of their church has been reduced to something filmed over a couple of months.

This series did not always portray the local community in a good light, and it is perhaps not sensitive to raise this issue again when we are trying to improve the image of the church in our community.

You report that the church burnt down, when, in fact, it was the church hall that burnt down; and that the cause was arson, when in fact it was accidental damage.

A small amount of money was raised for the building of a new church hall, but the insurance claim against the hall was used largely to fund the reordering of the church.

The remainder of that claim has now been used to build a new church hall, which is what was opened on 15 December.

Finally, I have no wish to be known as a priest idol, and am happy being simply a humble parish priest.

The Vicarage, Burton Road
Monk Bretton
Barnsley S71 2HQ

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