Photo Credit: All Photos by the Diocese of Leeds
A church in West Yorkshire is to be re-dedicated by the Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, next weekend, almost two years after it was severely damaged after being engulfed in 1.2 meter-high flood water. St Michael’s Church in Mytholmroyd was one of 3,000 buildings – including more than 2,000 homes – in the Calder Valley to be damaged when the area was flooded on Boxing day 2015. The total cost of the damage caused by the flood has been estimated at £150 million GBP. Since the flooding, the congregation held services in the town’s cricket club before invited to share the building of the local Good Shepherd Roman Catholic church.
“It has been such a long haul to get to this day when we can return to worship in our church building,” the parish church warden, Eric Alston, said. “We have had to replace floors, re-plaster the walls, renovate the pews and rebuild the organ.
“The builders have been amazing, Ecclesiastical Insurance have been amazing and the local people have been amazing, rallying round and going above and beyond what might have been hoped for. On behalf of everyone who uses and loves our buildings, thank you!
“We can’t wait to get everyone together on 5 November to celebrate and are really looking forward to the Archbishop leading the way.”
Archbishop Sentamu, who visited the area in the immediate aftermath of the flood, said: “I am always encouraged by the tremendous spirit, resolve, and generosity that is shown in communities affected by such hazards. I look forward to meeting many people from the community of Mytholmroyd as together we celebrate the rededication of the parish church. Fantabulous!”
While the congregation of St Michael’s have to wait until next month for the re-dedication, they are already moved back to their refurbished building. Since moving back, there have been two weddings and three baptisms, and the toddler group Angels has returned to its usual space in the building.
At the re-dedication service, Dr Sentamu will meet local residents and church members who have worked hard to renew and restore the church, which sits at the heart of the community.