A DEVOTED parishioner has helped a church achieve its dream of expansion more than ten years after the first plans were drawn up.
When Ernest Whitfield, a regular member of the congregation at St Andrew’s Church, Ferrybridge, died in 2000 he left money to the church to build an extension and refurbish the site.
The work has included having the building replastered and painted, the Victorian heating was replaced with a modern system, new carpets were laid and curtains hung.
The donation also covered the cost of clearing land outside the church of weeds and brambles and had it landscaped to be turned into a park-like area.
Earlier this month the legacy was nearing completion when the Whitfield Suite, a room used for functions and meetings, was opened by Bishop of Wakefield, the Rt Rev Stephen Platten.
The work will be finished after the church drive is resurfaced.
The Rev Edward Woodcock, who has worked with church wardens and parishioners on the project, said: “I am delighted with the new suite. The turnout for the opening was excellent, with more than 80 members of the community in the pews.
“The restoration of the parish is an ongoing project for the church community with the repaving of the driveway still to be achieved, but the latest addition has proved a hit with the congregation.
“All in all the building and its surroundings now look as though somebody cares and the church offers a far more pleasing and welcoming aspect.”