A £10,000 campaign has been launched to help save a Cumbrian church.
St Cuthbert’s Church in Bewcastle needs urgent repairs to its roof.
Retired bishop John Richardson, who lives in the community, is leading the initiative.
He said: “We are going to need help. Recent adverse weather has taken its toll, so the roof and guttering are in urgent need of repair.
“The hard reality is that we need to find some £30,000 to put things right this year.
“Here for 1,200 years faith and community have overlapped and entwined, as the Bewcastle Cross and tiny museum remind us.
“Within its walls generations have met to mark great occasions of family, community or national life – a wedding, a birth, a funeral, or special festivals like Christmas, Easter, Harvest and Remembrance, a Coronation, the outbreak or cessation of war.
“Loved ones have been laid to rest in the churchyard.
“Sunday by Sunday worship has taken place within it.
“It’s a heritage which has been entrusted to us, which we in our turn not only treasure but want to pass on to those coming after us.”
The campaign is asking sheep farmers in the area to donate the price of a lamb as part of the fundraising initiative.
Members have approached several farmers already and said every one has volunteered at least one lamb.
John added: “We have secured enthusiastic support from a broad range of people who know us and understand what we do, some are prominent figures in the county while others are central to the local community.
“Among the former are Lord and Lady Henley of Scaleby Castle; Claire Hensman, Lord Lieutenant of Cumbria; James Newcome, Bishop of Carlisle; Dr. Eleri Cousins- archaeologist and lecturer at the University of Lancaster about to begin new explorations in Bewcastle; the Rev Philip Greenhalgh, our previous and much loved rector; Dick Davidson MBE (aka Dick the Post) church reader and postie in our parish for 40 years; Mike Jackson who documented so much of our local history, researched every family and recorded every tombstone in the churchyard; Garry Phillips, Bewcastle’s garage man, who helps to keep many of our tractors and cars on the road; Barbara Smith, everyone’s friend and chair of our local council, heritage society and so much more; and Frank Waugh, an octogenarian, resident of Kilnstown, whose family have farmed round here for 200 years and who has been a church warden for almost that long!”
To donate to the fund, visit https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/bewcastle-church