IT HAS been a busy time for St Michael and All Angels Church in Stoke Prior.
As well as work getting under way on restoring the historic building to its former glory and the annual Christmas Tree Festival starting, the new associate minister has taken up her role and MP Sajid Javid dropped by for a catch-up.
Rev Paula Honniball was licensed on Sunday and arrived in the parish from Claines.
Rev Honniball, who will work alongside Rev Wyn Beynon until the summer when he retires, said she was looking forward to reaching out to the community and being at a church which was ‘full of commitment and creativity’.
The Friends of Stoke Prior Church generated an astonishing £200,000 during a tenacious five-year fund-raising campaign.
That enabled it to unlock £333,000 worth of National Lottery Heritage funding for the repairs and revamp.
The building, and in particular the tower, was in a bad state of disrepair.
The funding was desperately needed if the church and its interesting past was to have any chance of a future.
St Michael and All Angels has links to Droitwich Salt King John Corbett who was the last person to have it refurbished.
Mr Javid said: “I remember coming here five years ago when the local community got together to launch the fund-raising campaign.
“For them to raise £200,000 in five years to unlock the National Lottery funding, which I helped secure, is a phenomenal achievement.
“It’s great to see the work starting on the project and it will be even better to see it completed next summer.
“We all need something like this to look forward to in 2021.”
Christine Huzzey from the Friends group praised the builders and said it was amazing to see the work progressing.