In a bid to save her local church, a parishioner has penned a poem about her chosen place of worship.
St Mary’s The Blessed Virgin in Gomershal, in the diocese of Leeds, urgently needs £25,000 to carry out much-needed repairs.
Trees Fewster, who attends the 19th century church, has been sharing her poem on social media in order to encourage donations.
The poem describes the importance of the church within the community, both for schools, worship and for “big events” like weddings and funerals.
Trees' set to work after the church was left "disappointed" by a lack of funding. They had applied for a grant of £22,000, but recieved just £1,800.
The money isn't enough to cover the extensive renovations required. The inside North wall of the church needs to be replastered and redecorated, the porch needs to be painted, masonry work repaired, outside door to be made draught proof and inner doors rehung.
The poem reads: To the people of Gomersal and beyond.
Since 1851 I have stood guard
As parish church and church yard.
People have come from far and wide
To marry, or mourn those who have died.
I have seen joy and I have seen pain,
I have seen people come back again
To hear the Good News being proclaimed
And babies, christened, being named.
I am open for every big event
To sing God’s praise or to lament.
To hear the teachings of the Lord
Of hope and peace and just reward.
I serve the people of Gomersal,
Rich or poor, grown-up or small.
I welcome every one of you
My doors are open, just come through.
My place for worship and for praise
Doubles as social meeting place.
Ladies come to do Keep Fit
Or natter while they sew and knit.
The school will often visit me
Hand in hand, so quietly.
I love it when they come and pray
And learn that Jesus is the Way.
They even come in as young as three
‘Tots Praise’ they call it – “Follow Me.
I am the Way, the Truth, the Life,
With Me, you conquer every strife.”
Those are the words that Jesus said.
And we remember in the bread
And wine, he blessed and broke,
And took upon him our yoke.
So many years have I stood here
I’m looking old and need some cheer.
Plastering, pointing, painting, more,
To look spick-and-span, just as before.
This tired building calls out loud
To you, and you, and all the crowd
From Gomersal and from beyond
And ask you kindly to respond.