Big screen comes to west Leeds church

HOLY HITS: Gael Timbers and The Rev John Walker with the big screen at St Wilfrid's Church, Calverley.
HOLY HITS: Gael Timbers and The Rev John Walker with the big screen at St Wilfrid's Church, Calverley.
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Parishioners are swapping bibles for popcorn at a historic Leeds church.

The Grade II listed St Wilfrid’s Church, in Calverley, is now also home to a community cinema.

A dedicated team of volunteers have made it their mission to bring blockbuster hits to the building’s new big screen.

Now Calverley Community Cinema is on the look out for more volunteers to help run its new season of films later this year.

Gael Timbers, who set up the group, said: “I sent an email to the church last summer to see whether the idea could be approved.

“Our first film was It’s A Wonderful Life at Christmas and it was just lovely.

“There are members of the church that visit and there are also members of the community that have never even stepped foot inside a church before who visited.”

Cinema-goers were given the chance to vote for their choice of film prior to the recent showings.

Film buffs got the chance to watch The King’s Speech on the big projected screen during the village’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations.

They have also enjoyed family films, a selection of foreign films and British films during the latest run of the community cinema.

Now Gael is hoping to find more people to help run the cinema when the season restarts in September.

She needs people to help with the projection of films, volunteers to sell tickets and ushers.

The Rev John Walker said that the introduction of Calverley Community Cinema has helped to boost cohesion in the village.

He said: “It’s part of the vision of this church.

“We want it to become more and more a place of community activity as it had been in medieval times.”

Mr Walker added that there are plans to help make the church more accessible to disabled residents by replacing the pews with padded oak chairs.

He said: “People might not ordinarily visit the church but now they are coming in to watch a movie.”

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