From the Revd Kevin Maddy
Sir, - I would like to correct inaccuracies in your brief
report "Priest Idol church reopens after fire" (News,
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
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
Barnsley S71 2HQ