THE oldest building in Northwich is asking for help in raising funds to carry out a much needed upgrade to its facilities.

St Helen's Parish Church, arguably the most beautiful building in the town, has been at the centre of the life of the local community for over 600 years.

In recent years the Grade 1 listed building has been made available for a wide range of community events and activities.

Plans are now in place to provide new facilities to make the building better equipped and even more welcoming to the wider community and foremost in these plans is the construction of a new kitchen and servery within the church.

Ken Moth, Vice-Chair of the Parochial Church Council and a member of the church for around 20 years, said the plans were part of a much wider project known as 'Promising Future' with this necessary first stage estimated to cost in the region of £70,000.

Ken said: "Much hard work has already gone into fundraising.

"£25,000 has been committed by church members and grant applications and initial fundraising have raised a further £20,000 and the final £25,000 now needs to be raised.

"An excellent design suitable for a listed building has been produced and all necessary consents have been granted."

Northwich Guardian:

The interior of St Helens Parish Church.

Ken went on to say that the church is much loved among the people of the town, not least because Northwich doesn't have many ancient buildings, with that being another reason for improving the facilities.

He added: "Northwich doesn't have many great works of architecture or even many ancient buildings because everything used to fall down because of the brine subsidence.

"It's an amazing building and there has been a church there since the 1290's.

"The building that's there at the moment, parts of the fabric date from the 1350's, most of it from around 1500, but it is a spectacular building.

"What 'Promising Future' is saying is that this building belongs to everybody in Northwich, no matter whether they're Christians or regular church goers.

"This is everybody's church and in fact people in Northwich do say, 'this is my church' - this is where my grandad was baptised and things like that.

"We want to make the church available for all sorts of different things so we need the building to have the right sorts of facilities."

"It's basically about trying to serve the community and make better use of this amazing building."

Other aspects of the wider project include improving the online presence of the parish, such as making use of social media, as well as installing an excellent audio and visual system in the church, which allows services to be streamed online.

This modernisation has helped after the church was closed for several months during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, which Ken said proved to be difficult for everyone.

He said: "The actual word 'church' means a group of people, coming together from all walks of life.

"Being deprived of that, and the pleasure of going to a Sunday service, it was hard, especially on our Vicar, who is a real people person.

"He suddenly found himself separated from his congregation.

"As soon as we were able to resume, we did, and although we wondered if people would come, they did.

"We're a big church here so we've been able to socially distance and we'll get 50-60 people of Sunday morning.

"The most vulnerable members of our congregation who are shielding at home have been able to use the online streaming.

"We can't sing in church at the moment, but we do have the organ playing, and although we can't socialise in the building at the moment, we can do so in the churchyard afterwards.

"It is tough, but it's tough for everyone at the moment."

If you would like any further information or would like to make a donation please contact Ken Moth –