Bishop’s blesses church changes

Big day: The Bishop of Lancaster, Rt Rev Michael Campbell, gives his blessing while the congregation (including Edie Fitzherbert-Brockholes in her wheelchair) gathers outside before the service
Big day: The Bishop of Lancaster, Rt Rev Michael Campbell, gives his blessing while the congregation (including Edie Fitzherbert-Brockholes in her wheelchair) gathers outside before the service

Parishioners at St Thomas the Apostle Church, Claughton, are celebrating major improvements at their historic church.

The Bishop of Lancaster, Rt Rev Michael Campbell, visited the church at the weekend to give his formal blessing to a wheelchair-friendly path.

The pathway in front of the neighbouring home of parish priest Father Anthony Keefe, which leads to the church has been upgraded and re-surfaced, and a new, disabled-friendly side entrance has been created.

The internal improvements include new tiling in the entrance, and a new memorial board in the porch which lists all of the known parish priests at Claughton since Blessed Thomas Whitaker who was martyred in the 17th century.

Around £25,000 has been spent with the money being raised by parishioners.

In his blessing and in the homily he delivered during the service, the bishop talked of the access provided by the new entrance as symbolising the all-inclusive mission of the church.

He said it also emphasised the enduring tradition of that mission at Claughton, as demonstrated by the new memorial board in the porch.

The church chose local professionals to make the changes. They included Peter Hatfield, of Bernard Taylor Partnership, of Stockport, and builder Stephen Horn of Tom Horn Ltd, Brock. The access path work was carried out by Roger Clark of Bleasdale. The memorial board was created by Ormsby’s of Scarisbrick Ltd, Ormskirk.