Work begins on chapel roof at Kendal

The Westmorland Gazette: Members of the Stainton Institute Charity Geoff Wilson, Freda Kitching, David Holden and David Coates Members of the Stainton Institute Charity Geoff Wilson, Freda Kitching, David Holden and David Coates

A COMMITTED band of seven are stepping up their appeal to to restore an historic chapel in South Lakeland.

The Stainton Institute Charity was set up in 2008 with members dedicated to transforming the former United Reformed Church in Stainton, near Kendal, into a community centre.

After many years of negotiations, the former chapel has now been successfully transferred to the ownership of the Stainton Institute Charity.

The chapel is a Grade II listed building and was constructed in 1698 for Protestants following the Reformation and is full of history – John Taylor, who was the third President of the Mormon Church and the only English person to hold this position, lived in the parish in his youth. It is thought that he was baptised in the building.

Following various fundraising events, including a duck race and wine tasting, and successful grants, the charity has made £45,000. This has led to the start of phase one of works, with the roof beginning to be restored.

Other alterations, including the replacement of the decaying wooden floor with underfloor heating, will be completed if donations keep coming in.

Geoff Wilson, deputy chair of the charity, said: “We are looking for further grants from organisations to keep the restoration going.

“The chapel needs to be restored, both for the community and for prosperity. It is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to have a community centre, not just for now but for future generations to enjoy.”

The group has received generous support from South Lakeland District Council, Cumbria County Council, Upper Kent Local Area Partnership, Coun Brenda Gray, and many local bodies, including the Frieda Scott Charitable Trust.

David Coates, chairman of trustees, said: “The charity has been very fortunate to have been supported locally, as well as from a range of local and national grant awarding bodies.

“It is very pleasing to see the beginning of the replacement roof following all the enormous efforts of the Stainton Institute committee members.

“It is heart warming to see the much-needed community building at last being realised.”

To donate or to find out more information, visit the website www.staintoninstitute.org .

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