Heavens above these are real crosswinds

Stonemason Sam Baxter on the roof of St Thomas the Apostle in Killinghall.

Stonemason Sam Baxter on the roof of St Thomas the Apostle in Killinghall.

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A brave stonemason ensured that a Killinghall Church looked its best for Christmas this year, braving the elements to secure a cross to the roof.

Despite near gale-force winds, Sam Baxter from Pebble Stone Masonry, climbed on top of the roof of St Thomas the Apostle on Otley Road in Killinghall, securing a new cross on the east side of the Church.

The original cross dated back to 1880, however after more than a century of battling the elements the cross had become weathered.

The church has used all of its reserves to ensure the building was watertight and thought it would have to do without a new cross until an anonymous benefactor donated £2,000 to pay for a new cross.

Church warden Lisa Dennis said: “The donor really wanted us to continue to have the cross, he felt very strongly about it.”

She added: “We’ve been working with Sam for a few months and he is just so great, we want to show our appreciation to him.

“He had to stand there in the wind and the cold for 45 minutes to make sure the cross was secure.

“It was a bit perilous, it is quite a high church. He had a lovely view of the scenery for miles around though he was probably too cold to enjoy it.”

Architect Richard Hutchings also clambered up on the roof to get a picture of Mr Baxter in action.

Mrs Dennis said: “I was too cowardly to go up myself!”

The Rev Chrissy Wilson, the Vicar of St Thomas said: “It truly is a wonderful sight to see the cross reinstated and we are grateful to Sam for all his hard work.”

The Church has now repaired its roof, making the building completely watertight and hopes to move on interior renovations in the new year.