A SERVICE marked the reopening of a popular church eight months after work began to restore its roof.

St George’s at Mickley received a £73,000 grant through the Heritage Lottery Fund after being placed on Historic England’s register of important heritage buildings at risk.

And on Sunday, March 17, the Bishop of Newcastle, the Rt Rev. Christine Hardman, attended to bless the new roof, rededicate the church and lead the service as the church reopened its doors.

Vicar at the church Rev. Pat Moran said: “By 4.30pm the church was packed – and there was great buzz of excitement, as we were invited to go outside for the blessing of the roof.

“Thankfully, the rain that had made an appearance earlier in the afternoon had dried up, so we stood in the late afternoon sunshine as Bishop Christine blessed the new roof, which amazingly looks as if it has been there for years.”

Children from Mickley First School attended, accompanied by headteacher Andy Hudson, to explain the work they had done as part of the project on bats and Mickley clay bricks, as well as showing off a stained glass window that the Year 1 children had made.