In 2017, the Church of the Ascension in Lower Broughton was devastated by an arson attack leaving the community distraught following a massive fundraising effort for a £250,000 renovation.
Now the church, which is a rare remaining example of work by Manchester architect James Medland Taylor, is to rise again and take its place at the heart of the Lower Broughton community in a project that is forecast to complete in 2020.
The £5m restoration of the historic church is now underway following a blessing ceremony at the start of the works at the site in Greater Manchester. Led by Canon David Wyatt and the Bishop of Manchester, Rt Revd David Walker, community members, parishioners, and pupils from neighbouring schools gathered to mark the start of works by Seddon who have been appointed to completed the £2.46m structural works, with the £2.5m interior works to follow.
The ‘phoenix from the ashes’ project is not only about rebuilding an arson-attacked church, much used and loved by old and young alike, but it’s also about the restoration of a community. The work is being funded through the fire damage insurance facilitated by specialist insurers Ecclesiastical who used drone technology to assist it with the initial assessment of the structure
Phase one of works include the reinstatement of the structural elements of the building following the fire damage. The main elements of work include the replacement of columns, stone and brick repairs, stained glass window and window guard replacement, roof structures, roof coverings and ceiling finishes.
Architects for the project are Manchester-based Buttress and Thomasons, providing independent civil and structural engineering consultancy.