A woman from Barnoldswick who has been doing flowers for her local church for the last 40 years has published her first book.

Over the course of the past 40 years, Barbara McCartan has dedicated her time to volunteering at the church.

Barbara, 80, became a Christian in 1971 and shortly after, the Harvest Festival was approaching and the local vicar at Holy Trinity in Baronldswick was asking for volunteers to help.

Because she’s always been a creative and artistic person, Barbara decided to go down and help with the church decorations, creating beautiful flower wreaths, and the rest was history.

She said: “Lots of the people said how nice the flowers were and when I was taking the decorations down, a lady said to me ‘why are you taking them down, they’re lovely.’

“So she offered to buy me some silk flowers because flowers die in the winter and after that people started to come to me asking to do flowers for them.”

Barbara then started doing occasional work for various churches in the area.

Before she worked for the church, Barbara had multiple jobs throughout her life and started out as a mill worker.

After she had her children, she then worked as a care worker, and worked in two sewing places.

A passage from the book reads: “One hot Saturday morning, my sister invited me and the children to go with them to Blackpool, but I remembered I promised to do the church flowers.

"Unfortunately, my sister couldn’t wait and I began to feel a bit of resentment welling up inside as I realised I would have missed out on being on the beach in the sea. 'Why had I got landed with this job, why didn’t I say no?'

“However, on the Sunday morning, three people came and said, 'we should tell you more often how much we appreciate what you do', and I must admit I went home with tears in my eyes and I realised that is what God wanted me to do.”

Barbara said after that moment, she “was repented of her attitude” and this path wasn’t something she sought but is delighted that it “was the one she was given.”

Now, Barbara can add ‘author’ onto her extensive CV with the release of her book titled ‘The Gift’, which features an in-depth retelling of her life and church as well as wonderful photos of her creative floral designs.

You can buy Barbara’s book, The Gift, at Rainbows End Christian Book Shop in Burnley.