Vicar dons hard hat for service

Rev Kim Williams at Horbury Methodist Church construction site
Rev Kim Williams at Horbury Methodist Church construction site

A vicar wearing a hard hat and a dog collar has helped lay the foundation stone for her new church.

Rev Kim Williams officiated in a slightly different capacity - with book of worship and a trowel - at Horbury Methodist Church on the High Street on Monday.

The old chapel building was demolished in 2012 after it was deemed structurally unsound in 2010. Church organisers have worked tirelessly for the past three years to pave the way for a new £900,000 place of worship.

Minister Williams said: “It’s such a huge event for Horbury and the people of Horbury Methodist Church. The occasion needed to be marked with a small service. I wore a pink hard hat, matching work boots and a high visibility jacket. I don’t do things by halves.”

It is hoped the building work will be completed by July 2016.

Project co-ordinator John Sudworth said: “The contractors are getting on well with the development. This week a time capsule will be placed in the foundations containing various items relating to the church and Horbury, including several cuttings from the Wakefield Express from the last few years which have covered the demolition of the old church and the new development.”

The new church will be built with stone to tone in with the existing hall.

The church has also come up with a novel fundraiser to help keep the construction project on track.

Mr Sudworth added: “It will take 4,000 blocks of stone to build the church. We are looking for people to sponsor or adopt a piece of stone for £10. Every sponsor will receive a certificate, with the number of the stone they have sponsored, on it. Anyone who would like to sponsor a stone is asked to contact either Heather Turner on 01924 367403 or John Walter on 07770315889.

“We will keep a permanent record of the names of those who sponsor a piece of stone.”

The first methodist church in Horbury was built in Cluntergate 250 years ago. The last foundation stone on the old High Street chapel was laid 131 years ago.

It’s a busy time for the church as it is holding an autumn/Christmas fair in Horbury Community Centre in Cluntergate from 9.30am to 3pm tomorrow (Saturday).

There will be lots of stalls, including a Christmas one, and games. There will also be an all day café.