A flood damaged church has re-opened its doors to worshippers - more than 19 months after the Boxing Day floods of 2015.
St Michael’s Church in Mytholmroyd, near Hebden Bridge, held its first Sunday service on Sunday after floods meant the congregation had to move out of the church – just one of hundreds of homes and businesses affected when the River Calder, the local canal and local beck all rose.
At its height, the church was flooded to a depth of four feet - level with the pews - St Michael’s Hall was flooded, and the waters even lifted part of the wall surrounding the churchyard.
But the PCC took the opportunity to remodel the church – and it has been undergoing extensive restoration ever since. All the pews were removed to safe storage, the floor levelled, underfloor heating installed before the wooden floor was replaced and pews re-installed – including more user friendly areas where wheelchairs and prams can be accommodated.
The church will be rededicated later in the autumn, with the Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, at the 11am service on November 5.
Vicar, the Revd Cathy Reardon, said: “It’s the same, but better.
“It looks exactly the same, but we’ve a flat floor, underfloor heating, it’s more user friendly for wheelchair users and people with pushchairs – and that makes a world of difference.
“But this is a parish church and that means it belongs to the community – and it’s their place that has been re-opened.
“The community has got back its parish church and that’s really important.
"We are back home now and everyone, not just the regular church members is pleased. It is a symbolic moment of restoration and renewal," she added.