A FUNDRAISING initiative has been launched to help raise £70,000 for repairs to the roof at one of Hyndburn’s oldest churches.

Over the next twelve months, the Reverend Colin Penfold, the congregation and the community will work together to raise funds for the historic Nave roof at St Bartholomew’s Church in Church Lane, Great Harwood.

Rev Penfold said urgent action is needed, he said: “I have been advised that the church roof is coming to the end of its life.

“We have lost a couple of the slates and we have to take steps to get it fixed so that we can prevent any further damage, so we decided to raise money immediately.”

At St Bartholomew’s, the building dates back more than 500 years The Nave roof is a rare piece of late medieval carpentry, a complex and carved wooden structure decorated with carvings of figures, plants and faces.

Rev Penfold said that along with everybody else, he will be trying his best to gain funding from charities and national support groups. He said: “I have applied for a few grants and the National Lottery Heritage Fund may be able to help out.”

The first official fundraiser is a Thornton’s chocolate party at St Bartholomew’s Primary School, on Wednesday, March 19 at 7.30pm.

Throughout the year, Rev Penfold said that there will be ‘something for everyone’ at the events. He said: “St Bartholomew’s is a historic church.”

To donate to the roof appeal visit the site mydonate.bt.com/charities/stbartholomewstjohnparishchurch