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Church News

Anonymous donor gives almost £6m to York church

by Heather Preston

A church in York has received an anonymous donation of nearly £6m to go towards urgent repairs and rejuvenation.

The mystery patron has given £5.9million to St Michael le Belfrey church, High Petergate, York.

The money will help to fund the church’s building project allowing the 16th century structure to undergo major refurbishments, to repair and preserve it for future generations. It will also allow the church to expand its mission work, serving the local community.

The Belfrey has released this statement of thanks: “It is with awe and gratitude that St Michael le Belfrey Church finds itself the beneficiary of a gift of up to £5.9m. This significant gift has been donated specifically to fund a major repair and reordering project currently estimated between £5-7m. 

The funding will also help support St Michael le Belfrey as a resource church for York Diocese to train and develop new leaders, help revitalise old churches and plant new ones. 

The benefactor, who wishes to remain anonymous, approached The Belfrey’s vicar, Matthew Porter in summer 2019 to share their support of the vision to reorder the church building and plant new churches.

“When I received the news, it is fair to say that I was astounded by the generosity of this gift and the phenomenal provision of God,” explains Porter.

“To know that we can go ahead with the building restoration in the knowledge that most, if not all, of the funding is in place is both a privilege and a responsibility. It’s important that we create a space which will benefit many people and supports our vision. It’s wonderful to know that this releases us as a church to consider other priorities which require our finances,” he added.

A project board has been appointed to ensure the wise management of the project and its finances.

This significant gift follows an already generous donation made to the church in 2017 towards the project.

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