Renovation works planned for St James church, Dalby

UNDER RENOVATION: St James Church in Dalby

UNDER RENOVATION: St James Church in Dalby

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The church is undergoing extensive renovations to combat water damage.

Funding for the works has been raised through the regular community events held there over many years, such as the annual World Bonnag Championships.

The church is one of several Bishop Ward churches designed by John Welch.

The renovation works are being carried out on the east wall, which has had extensive water penetration over many years.

‘It is a major undertaking,’ said Cheryl Cousins the minister, ‘and it’s only thanks to all the support we’ve received through our events that we felt we could tackle this job now.’

The events have been organised by the Friends of St James for about 28 years, whose remit has been to raise funds for the renovation and maintenance of the building, as well as to develop the community within the village and the Friends also chose each year to give a percentage from event proceeds to two different charities.

There is a separate source of funds for the annual running of the church.

‘The guys at Keeil Construction are doing an amazingly thorough job, but their work has revealed the extent of the problems and the price we pay for inheriting such a beautiful but complex piece of architecture,’ said Cheryl.

‘They have revealed large areas where water is channelling through the building, every spire and pillar is acting as an aqueduct, producing a colander effect through the east wall.’

The scale of the work is bigger than first thought and the costs involved will empty the Friends’ maintenance fund.

Cheryl said: ‘The scale of this work is much bigger than we thought, it will clear out our funds ... so watch this space.

‘We’re going to have to start thinking all over again of new and exciting initiatives to start fundraising for future project, unless, of course, someone out there felt called to assist us with a miraculous hand out to help us safeguard this unique historic building.’

For more information email: cherylcousins(at)manx.net.

Meanwhile, musical duo Mike and Al are set to perform at the church’s schoolrooms at 7.30pm on Wednesday, August 22.

Tickets, at £10, include a chilli supper (or vegetarian option) and cake and coffee. People can bring their own alcohol.

To book tickets phone Gilly on 844031.

All proceeds, after cost, are in aid of Hospice Isle of Man and the Manx overseas charity The Pahar Trust Nepal, as well as for the St James Church and Restoration Fund.

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