Dukinfield Old Chapel restoration appeal
Tuesday 19th July 2016 12:09 Community Dukinfield News Posted by Nigel Skinner

The congregation at Dukinfield’s Old Chapel is appealing to the public for help as it aims to raise £500,000 for vital restoration work.

Water and dry rot in the Unitarian chapel’s roof means it is currently out of use.

The Chapel can no longer hold weddings while baptisms and services have been moved to the school hall.

The upheaval is having financial consequences as well as logistical ones.

Chapel warden, Jennifer Moody, says the congregation needs all the help they can get.

“We are on older congregation but we have a successful Sunday school as well,” she said.

“Everybody does what they can to maintain the congregation and keep us together. Plus we want the wider community to be involved as well.

“People can help by supporting our fundraising events. We’ve got a Beatrix Potter event coming up in July so they can support that.

“Just generally, they can come in and ask for information or attend one of our services or Sunday school.”

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The congregation put on various events throughout the year to raise funds, which the local community are invited to attend.

“The Sunday school puts on a pantomime each year and that money has gone towards the upkeep of the buildings,” Jennifer said. “We have an autumn fair; we have regular coffee evenings on a Tuesday with various activities. Last year, we had a Strawberry Fair in June which raised a lot of money.

“This year we’ve got two concerts arranged; one we’ve already had with Yew Tree singers and one in August with the Bugs Band, with guitars, banjos and ukeleles.

“We’ve got a quiz night in August as well which we hope people will attend and that will bring money in because it is a community building.”

Members of the chapel have applied to the Heritage Lottery Fund for a grant.

They’ve also received a grant from the East Cheshire Union of Unitarian Churches but there is still a long way to go.

Jennifer says it’s vital that such a historic piece of Tameside is saved and preserved.

“It’s a beautiful building and it would be a shame to let it go; we don’t want to let it go,” she said.

“It’s a big building which unfortunately takes a lot of money, even just the annual costs, but we want to keep it going and keep the
Unitarian heritage going here in Dukinfield and the surrounding area.”