AS the 900-year-old St Mary’s at Ulverston launches a £1.4m restoration appeal we are taking a look at Mail archive pictures of some of the many community events the church has hosted through the decades.

Major repair work is needed on the tower and the main building and it is hoped the money can be found to complete the work by April 2022.

It is not the first time that this historic church has needed building work – a major restoration scheme was carried out in 1866.

In 1996 workers from Barrow-based Leck Construction were busy on a project to replace slates, guttering and plaster – which won support from English Heritage.

The Mail, on October 2, noted: “All the north aisle, including choir vestries, part of the south aisle and the memorial chapel, will be screened off.”

Another building scheme – called The Renewal Project – was started in 2008 at a projected cost of £500,000.

The Mail, on June 24, said the aim was to improve both heating and lighting in the church and provide toilets, a kitchen and social area.

The Reverend Alan Bing said: “We have been talking for years about the need for toilets and creche facilities and for general modernising and upgrading of the parish church.

“Beautiful building that it is, it needs to be adapted to the present and likely future needs of the church and made more welcoming to the community.”

In 1997 the church was looking to strengthen its team of bell ringers, led by tower captain Ian Taylor.

The Mail, on December 10, noted that Mr Taylor had been ringing for 49 years – starting as a teenager in Rochdale.

Ulverston’s heaviest bell in the set of six is 13cwt (660kg) and they were all made at Whitechapel, London, in 1836.

In September 2011, Bishop of Carlisle, James Newcombe, abseiled down the tower to help St Mary’s celebrate its 900th anniversary.

He said: “A church has stood on this site since 1111 and this is a great way to celebrate that.”

Many parishioners followed his lead and came down the stone tower, which had been added to the church in the 16th century.

You can find out more about the restoration project at