Casterton community are a warm-hearted lot

Tom Herd with the new boiler

Tom Herd with the new boiler

First published in News The Westmorland Gazette: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

A CHURCH congregation which shivered its way through last winter has given a warm summer welcome to some kind-hearted community intervention.

Holy Trinity Parish Church, at Casterton, near Kirkby Lonsdale, has continued to operate despite having had no central heating since last autumn – prompting 45 generous residents to club together to pay the £14,000 needed for a brand new boiler.

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“We decided to put out an appeal so I sent out about 162 letters to people asking for help,” explained church organist Tom Herd.

“That resulted in the donations.

“Money came in from lots of different people – they’ve been very generous.”

The old boiler broke down in September, 2013, as the church was preparing to host a concert.

Churchgoers have attended ever since wrapped up in gloves, hats and scarves. But the organ and church grand piano have suffered because of the cold, and Mr Herd said the congregation, which meets twice a month, has shrunk slightly since last year.

The pre-school has also been unable to make the most of the space because temperatures have fallen too low.

In February, this year, Mr Herd sent out letters to the community, outlining the problem the church was facing – and £14,300 came flooding in, while ten people took out standing orders to support the church.

“It was overwhelming how much support we got,” continued Mr Herd.

“I’m not exactly sure how old the boiler was but we think about 50 or 60 years old, so I suppose it was no surprise it broke down.

“Last September there was a concert and it just wouldn’t come on. We were told it had completely had it.

“We kept going right through the winter – I was playing the organ in my fleece and anorak, but we kept going!”

The new boiler is now in situ and the church is planning to host a thanksgiving service closer to Christmas.

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