Health and safety threatens church candlelights

New health and safety rules are threatening the use of candlelight chandeliers at a Macclesfield church

New health and safety rules are threatening a Macclesfield church which lights up its chandeliers using candles to help celebrate special occasions such as weddings, concerts and Christmas events.

The two Jacobean and Victorian brass chandeliers and five smaller chandeliers hold 90 candles in total and are suspended high up in St Michael’s Church, on Market Place. For the past twenty years, the candles have been lit by David Smith, aged sixty, of Tytherington Park Road, Tytherington, who reaches the candles by climbing 20ft up a ladder.

Macclesfield church candles threatened by health and safety rules

St Michael’s Church, Market Place

But new health and safety rules now mean that David is only allowed to climb 9ft, which no longer enables him to get close enough to the chandeliers to light the candles.

David and other members of the church have launched an appeal to raise money to buy an electronic winch and pulley system and hope to raise the £7,000 needed to buy the equipment. The new system would mean that the special lights could still be used.

The chandeliers would have to be placed on new cables and David would then be able to use a remote control to bring the chandeliers down for lighting.

David, who is also a member of the choir, along with his wife Sheena, said: “The candles are a feature of our services especially in the winter. I enjoy seeing the church lit up and people have come to expect to see the candles.”

To help raise money for the new system, the church is hosting a hot pot and whisky supper at 7.30pm on Friday 3rd June.

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