NOT only was the recent harvest festival service at St Martin’s Church its usual joyful self with young people from uniformed organisations attending, but, for the first time ever, the church was warm.

The Church Lane church has a newly installed heating system which reaches parts the old, inefficient system, couldn’t reach. It covers the rear of the balcony, the baptistry where babies are christened, and around the altar.

Priest-in-Charge, Father Shaun Conlon said: “The old system was never designed to heat the church above 16 degrees Celsius. In recent years it has struggled even to meet that temperature unless switched on for many hours.”

The new system has a thermostat ensuring that the temperature in the church is always just right.

The £40,000 project hit a problem when asbestos was discovered in the boiler house adding a further £5,000 to the bill.

Father Shaun said: “The two workmen impressed us with their courtesy and communications as well as how tidy and clean they kept the building even on wet days.”

He thanked everyone who had contributed and was glad that those who attended the Harvest Festival were warm and comfortable.

The system will be even more appreciated by people who attend Remembrance Sunday on November 10 at the earlier time of 10 am.

Before they head for the war memorial in the churchyard for an Act of Remembrance at 11 am, people can get crispy warm inside the church.