An excellent article by Lisa O’Brien which appeared in Hemsworth and South Elmsall Express on 1 April 2010:
A CHURCH restoration appeal got a boost when its warden racked up funds with a sponsored appearance on a popular television quiz show. St Helen’s Church, on Cross Hill, Hemsworth, launched its restoration appeal in February 2008 in the hope of raising almost £200,000. So far the roof has been repaired, guttering has been renewed and wiring and lighting have been replaced – but it is £5,000 short of the £30,000 target needed to provide disabled access. Church warden Roland Hawcroft received sponsorship to go on the BBC’s The Weakest Link in a bid to raise more cash. The show aired last week, but Mr Hawcroft was sadly voted off after the first round despite answering all his questions correctly. Mr Hawcroft, 70, of Barnsley Road, Hemsworth, said: “I came up with the idea 12 months ago. I asked for so much sponsorship per round, which I’m still collecting. It was something different to do to raise money. It was good fun.” Fr Robert Hart has encouraged people to carry on giving to the appeal. He said: “Every Sunday people are fighting their way into church. We need disabled access so everyone can get into the church easily. It will help people with pushchairs too and will make for a nice welcoming entrance.” After disabled access is installed, the church will be trying to raise another £70,000 to provide toilets and kitchen facilities. Fr Hart added: “It will make the building more useful to the community. People have been very generous already. Trying to do this in these economic times is not the easiest thing, but we need to keep on going.” Donations can be sent to The Rectory, Church Close, Hemsworth, WF9 4SJ. See http://www.parishofhemsworth.org.uk for more information about the appeal.