So much to enjoy thanks to church’s exciting plans

St. Mary's parish council member Bernadette Malcolmson with a wooden model of the church.  Picture by FRANK REID
St. Mary's parish council member Bernadette Malcolmson with a wooden model of the church. Picture by FRANK REID

Plans have been revealed to give a Hartlepool church restoration plan another big push.

Workshops, open weekends and a chance to view the excellent gardens are all being considered.

The front view of St Mary's Church of The Immaculate Conception, Headland, Hartlepool.

The front view of St Mary's Church of The Immaculate Conception, Headland, Hartlepool.

Around £500,000 is needed to restore St Mary’s Church on the Headland to its former glory, as previously reported by the Hartlepool Mail.

That includes the bell tower which is crumbling from the inside out, exterior walls and work on the floor which is “lifting down the aisle, ” said parish council member Bernadette Malcolmson.

While the finer details have still to be confirmed, Bernadette explained more about the new projects in the pipeline.

* Opening up the gardens at St Mary’s is one consideration and “possibly attracting some funding to turn our outbuildings into workshops for woodwork,” said Bernadette.

We are in the process of putting together several open weekends with light refreshments for people to come and enjoy the gardens and the church building too

Bernadette Malcolmson

* Open weekends are also on the cards where the church gardens would be “opened up to more interested people.”

Bernadette said: “We’re also putting together a leaflet with a potted history of the church building.”

It is all part of a project to encourage more interest in the church.

Bernadette explained: “We are in the process of putting together several open weekends with light refreshments for people to come and enjoy the gardens and the church building too.

Interior of St Mary's Church of The Immaculate Conception, Headland, Hartlepool.

Interior of St Mary's Church of The Immaculate Conception, Headland, Hartlepool.

“We are also putting together a leaflet with a potted history of the church building that could be used during this weekend for those wishing to have a look around the church.”

* A photography experience is also on the agenda.

It would involve opening the church up to small groups so they could photograph the architecture in and around the church.

Bernadette said it would give people the “chance to stay a while and edit their pictures while being able to ask questions about the history of the church if they wish.”

St Mary’s Church - which was in the headlines earlier this year for its campaign to raise £500,000 for restoration - is going much further to engage with local people.

Activities at Easter included arts and crafts, as well as games in the garden, window displays and making marshmallow sheep.