Wing and a prayer for church appeal

St Mary's Handsworth
St Mary's Handsworth
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An historic church in Sheffield has issued a fresh appeal for help to bring it up to modern standards.

The 12th-century St Mary’s in Handsworth is hoping for a final fundraising push to allow it to press ahead with plans for disabled access and a new toilet.

About £21,000 has been raised towards the transformation of the building, which has stood in Handsworth Road since 1157.

But the church needs to raise a total of £57,000 for the work to be carried out.

Father Keith Johnson said: “The improvements would make a big difference to a lot of people in the congregation and also at occasions like weddings and baptisms.

“The plan is to remove steps which would take away the need for two ramps.”

An archaeologist’s report had to be completed before plans got the go-ahead from Sheffield Council’s committee.

Fr Johnson said: “The funds have mainly been raised through the congregation and donations from people.

“We also had a grant from the Duke of Norfolk and others have left money to us.

“At the moment we’re in the process of applying for funding from Veolia, but any donations to help us get there would be gratefully received.”