New railings will make church safer

Rev Michael Knight at the new railings, outside the crooked spire.
Rev Michael Knight at the new railings, outside the crooked spire.

Chesterfield’s most recognisable church will be able to boast new railings by the end of next month.

The Church of St Mary and All Saints, with its famous crooked spire, is in the process of having the railings fitted around the perimeter.

The work has been made possible through funding from the Chesterfield Townscape Heritage Initiative (THI) and is a combination of various funding streams, including Heritage Lotteries Fund, Derbyshire Economic Partnership and Chesterfield Borough Council).

Weather permitting, the £300,000 project will be completed by the end of February.

It is hoped that the railings, as well as being pleasing on the eye, will provide an extra safety measure, particularly east of the church where the busy St Mary’s Gate road runs.

The railings will not include gates into the church grounds, which will remain accessible to the public 24 hours a day.

Rev Michael Knight of The Church of St Mary and All Saints, said he hoped that the new railings would provide the extra protection from the road.

“As well as looking nice, the railings will provide an important health and safety aspect,” he said.

“There is a busy main road nearby and these railings will provide protection, particularly for young children.”

The new railings will be painted green.

It won’t be the first time the church has been surrounded by railings.

The original fencing was taken down during the Second World War to be melted down and used as ammunition.

Chesterfield Borough Council’s leader and executive member for regeneration said he was thrilled that the work at the Parish Church is going ahead.

Cllr John Burrows said he was proud that the railings were being replaced and paid thanks to the partners who helped fund it.

“Chesterfield Parish Church and its crooked spire is an iconic image well-known to all residents and visitors to Chesterfield,” he said.

“I am proud that Chesterfield Borough Council has been able to carry out the work to carry out the long-standing requirement to replace the railings at the church. I know that the members of the church have welcomed the work being carried out.

“I would like to extend our thanks to our partners the Heritage Lotteries Fund, Derbyshire Economic Partnership for their part in funding the project along with the Borough Council.”