FRIENDS and parishioners of St Michael and All Angels Church in Linton-in-Craven gathered to welcome the Bishop of Ripon for the opening of new facilities aimed at making the church even more welcoming.

The Rt Rev Anna Eltringham led a special service in celebration of the opening of a new kitchen and accessible toilet facilities at the church, near Grassington, on Sunday, June 16.

After many years in development, the long-awaited work at the church, which has been made possible through donations from the congregation and many grant organisations, got underway in January, and finished on schedule at the end of March.

At a reception following the service Bishop Anna unveiled a plaque listing the names of all who have helped to bring the work to fruition.

Rector, Rev Matthew Wood said: "Visitors to St Michael’s often comment on the warmth of the welcome that we offer. With the church regularly full to capacity it has been a struggle to look after people as well as we would like without a good quality kitchen and functioning toilet. These new facilities will make such a difference to the sense of Christian hospitality that we are able to offer."

The Rector and the Parochial Church Church jointly said they are 'deeply grateful for the donations that have made the project possible'.

The building work, carried out by RSK Consultancy and Construction of Silsden, was made possible by grants from Tarmac Landfill Communities Fund (Swinden Quarry); The Yorkshire Dales Sustainable Development Fund and The Garfield Weston Foundation, Skipton Rotary, Bulloughs Cleaning Services, The Craven Trust, Fountaine’s Hospital Charity, The R E Chadwick Charitable Trust, The Beatrice Laing Trust, Benefact Trust and All Churches Trust. In addition, more than 30 individual donations were received from the St Michael’s congregation and local people who value the church's contribution to the life of the community.

St Michael’s, a 12th century architectural gem, is open daily for visitors and regular Sunday worship is at 11am.