Christmas tree festival launched to help raise £100,000 for beautiful stained glass windows

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A town church is hosting its very own Christmas tree festival as part of its attempts to raise £100,000 to save a bell tower and two beautiful stained glass windows.

St Peter’s CE Church is in dire need of funds after its vicar was quoted a repair bill totalling £246,000 for the Chorley institution in Harpers Lane.

Rev Peter Smith at St Peter's Church, where fund-raising continues to save two stained glass windows and the bell tower (Image: JPIMedia)

Rev Peter Smith at St Peter's Church, where fund-raising continues to save two stained glass windows and the bell tower (Image: JPIMedia)

The Reverend Peter Smith explained: “We have an inspection of the church every five years and during that we noticed some damp highlighted by some problems on the windows.

“The team went up and found that the copper ties on the window had perished and that was how rain was coming in.

“A specialist has told us they need to come out and they cannot stay fixed on site.”

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Mr Smith and the congregation have subsequently launched the festival, taking place from Friday to Sunday, December 6 to 9, where 29 local community groups and businesses will be decorating their own trees.

The stained glass windows in need of urgent repair (Image: JPIMedia)

The stained glass windows in need of urgent repair (Image: JPIMedia)

“It’s been horrendous,” said Mr Smith.

“Fund-raising has been going quite slow so the festival was the next step. The community has been good in responding.

“We had an architect come round and he said the total repair for the building is £246,000 including the belfry and bell tower.

“The scaffolding alone is horrendous in cost. Just the glass is £28,000 on its own not including scaffolding and painting.

Rev Peter Smith (Image: JPIMedia)

Rev Peter Smith (Image: JPIMedia)

“Every Victorian church built in the 1850s is in the same position. They need to be kept updated.

“The current windows have been in place for around 90 years though, so it’s not been a bad run at all.”

The festival will be open from 1pm until 4pm on Friday, 10am until 4pm on Saturday, and 11.30am until 2pm on Sunday.

Free parking will be available behind the church.

Rev Peter Smith, with the church and bell tower behind him (Image: JPIMedia)

Rev Peter Smith, with the church and bell tower behind him (Image: JPIMedia)