The restoration and repairs to St Thomas’ Church are now complete. As part of the restoration works the perimeter wall was also repaired and in some cases restored. During the restoration it was thought that it would enhance the building if the churchyard was upgraded and made more of a feature. The Bishops Trust looked at a number of proposals and finally agreed that it would be in keeping with the historical aspect of Parkgate if the original entrance to the Churchyard, on Mostyn Square, was reinstated (if you look at the photograph of the fisherman repairing their nets, on the Background page, you can clearly see the original sandstone posts in the wall). This proposal involved the demolition of the bus shelter and removal of the blocks between the posts. Steps and supporting walls were then constructed leading up into the churchyard and handrails were also installed. A new paved walkway was constructed from the new entrance upto the Church and around the side to the main entrance. A pair of Oak gate have been installed to complete the new entrance to the church grounds. Two local people have kindly donated benches in memory of loved ones. The benches, looking towards Mostyn Square and beyond to the Dee Estuary, have also been installed. To complete the works the Bishops Trust have paid for a new lampstandard, which is more in keeping with Parkgate. This has been installed on Mostyn Square and the council notice board and bench have been resited. Landscaping has been completed and an ongoing planting program continues. The project is being conducted in partnership with Neston Town Council, who have supported the project as part of the “greening” of Parkgate and the Parkgate Society who have generously supported us with donations for specific parts of this project.
Community support for St Thomas’ has been impressive; a large proportion of the cost of restoration has come from local people and we hope that you will help finish the job. We are still seeking funds for this project and would be grateful for any donations that you may care to make. One idea that has been put forward is a “buy a shrub or tree” from the planting scheme. This may be in memory of a loved one or perhaps to commemorate a special anniversary. It may be that local organisations may also like to contribute in this way. For example in 2011 the friends of Yvonne Hampson, a member of St Thomas’ congregation arranged for the purchase and planting of a tree in her memory.
If you are interested in this idea and would like more information or you wish to make a donation please let us know. Cheques payable to The Bishop’s Trust for St Thomas’ Parkgate can be sent to Michael Potts (details below). If you are a tax-payer we can recover tax under the gift-aid scheme thus increasing its value at no cost to you. We can supply a form for the purpose on request.
We anticipate visitors to Parkgate being attracted to the new entrance and the gardens and of course the church. The church will definitely be more visible to the public as a result of the measures we are taking.
The Bishop’s Trust for St Thomas’ Parkgate
Neston, CH64 6SA