CHURCH members have welcomed the arrival of expensive stone that will be used to give their historic building a new lease of life.
The skilled work going on at Holy Trinity Church in Seaton Carew is on schedule after parishioners raised around £200,000 for the project.
Youngsters from Holy Trinity Church of England Primary School were at the church for their weekly service when the stone arrived on a lorry.
Carol Cliffe, who spearheaded the fundraising On A Wing And A Prayer appeal, said: “Work is now well and truly underway, with the scaffolding up and the materials on site.
“Everything is on schedule and we look forward to a celebration and dedication by the Bishop during our birthday weekend in September.
“We are really pleased and I’m sure it won’t be long before we see it taking shape.”
The fundraising appeal saw three years of activities and grant applications to secure the money needed.
The Heritage Lottery Fund contributed £56,000 but costs steadily rose from £150,000 to £190,000 and finally £200,000.
The work is needed after the church has been ravaged over the years by the elements causing much of the stonework to crumble away.
Carol said it is great to see all their hard work finally paying off.
She said: “It’s incredibly satisfying to finally see everything coming together after an awfully long time. It’s brilliant.”
There will be no summer fair at the church this year due to the ongoing work.
But the church hopes to make up for it during its birthday weekend celebrations in September.
The parish centre is also being given a revamp at the same time to make it more available for the whole community to use.
The Bishop of Durham, the Right Reverend Paul Butler, and Bishop of Jarrow, Mark Bryant, will rededicate the parish centre when they visit Holy Trinity at the end of the work in September.