There will be a feature returning on the Cheltenham skyline this month as a five foot cross goes up over St Philip and St James’ Church, Leckhampton, as part of their roof repairs. This Sunday 28th June 2015 a very special blessing of the replacement cross will take place at the end of the 10am service in the Church and it will soon go up onto the West Gable end. The previous cross, an original, came tumbling and crumbling down in 2008, so this will be a very important moment for the congregation and community.
The ‘Pip and Jim’s Big Appeal’ was set up following storm damage during the winter of December 2013 and January 2014, which resulted in the Grade II* listed church no longer being wind and watertight. English Heritage have been considering putting the very important and historic church on their national ‘at risk’ register. In addition to the storm damage, the church also needs to undertake urgent repairs which have been identified by the recent five-year building inspection. Phases 1 and 2 are now complete and the first part of the Phase 3 works have commenced. The remaining Pip and Jim’s Big appeal target now stands at £33,019 having already raised an incredible £200,696.
Reverend Nick Davies says: “It is wonderful to be able to bless this cross to go on the West Gable. In many ways it will be the pinnacle of our achievements with these repairs. The Bible tells us that the cross may seem foolishness to others but is the wisdom of God because it shows us how much God loves us.”
Nick continues, “Whilst the scaffolding covering the tower at the moment is ugly and a pain in the neck for our neighbours, we hope that the repairs, once complete, will safeguard a beautiful building for future generations.”
Repairs to the tower are due to be completed this autumn.