A CHURCH welcomed two bishops in one day as it celebrated reaching their fundraising target to restore the historic building.
Holy Trinity Church in Seaton Carew raised £190,000 to upgrade the building and parish centre in its Wing and a Prayer appeal.
On Sunday, the Bishop of Durham and Bishop of Jarrow both visited the church to praise parishioners in reaching their target.
The special visit also coincided with Holy Trinity’s birthday weekend celebrations.
The Bishop of Jarrow Mark Bryant reopened the church’s newly refurbished parish centre after holding Sunday morning’s service.
In the afternoon Bishop Paul Butler, the Lord Bishop of Durham, led a Songs of Praise service in celebration of the Wing and a Prayer appeal.
Appeal leaders and supporters organised a variety of events in aid of the appeal for more than two years including concerts, seasonal fairs.
Parishioner Julie Cordiner donated proceeds from a book she wrote about the history of the church and Seaton.
The appeal also secured a major grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
Carol Cliffe, of the restoration appeal, said: “It is a great sense of pride that we have managed to achieve our target and preserve our church for future generations which is what it is all about.
“Bishop Paul said what a fantastic achievement not to have borrowed any money. Until he said that it hadn’t really hit home.”
Carol was presented with a bouquet of flowers for her efforts with the fundraising campaign and guests enjoyed a buffet when Bishop Paul cut a cake baked for the occasion.
Hartlepool Ladies Choir sung in concert at the church on Saturday night as part of the celebrations.
Repair work to the church has been taking place over the last few months and is nearing completion. Scaffolding has been removed from one wing of the church in Crawford Street.