Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting WONEWS to 80360, or email
Soldiers answer Rawdon church’s prayers
A church’s prayers were answered when a group of 46 junior soldiers volunteered their labouring services out of the blue.
The teenagers were looking for seven hours of community work as part of their Duke of Edinburgh Award.
And their hard graft was put to good use when they asked what they could do to help at St Peter’s Church in Rawdon.
Expensive roof and tower repairs at the historic parish church meant there were no funds left for other work. But the 46 youths, aged between 16 and 17, sprang into action to dig out and relay a path at the back of the building and also carried out an array of other tasks.
Their services were volunteered by Sergeant Scott Dyson, an army instructor at the Harrogate Foundation College, who has a family connection to a member of the congregation.
The path is used by the church and church school for outdoor services. It is also part of the fire evacuation plan and gives access to the boiler and the churchyard.
Vicar Cayte Norman said they had been asked to help find work for the junior soldiers to do as part of their award.
“It is not easy to find work for that number of people to do together,” she said.
“They worked very hard and did a good job. They transformed the area round the back of the church which was overgrown with a very uneven and unsafe path.
“They also cut back the overgrown path along the side of the churchyard which is used as a footpath by lots of people.”
She described their offer of help as a “lovely surprise,” adding: “They were a grand group of lads. They were very polite and well behaved.”
She said the volunteers had even stayed on to do an extra hour in order to finish the work.