After years of planning, work starts on creating ‘superb city square’

Holy Trinity Church, Hull.

Holy Trinity Church, Hull.

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A MILESTONE has been reached in a project to transform England’s largest parish church as work gets underway integrating the old churchyard into a new Continental-style square.

Church and council officials marked the start of phase one of the £4.5m project aimed at making Holy Trinity Church a key cultural and tourism venue in time for Hull’s year as City of Culture in 2017.

The church has already raised £2.6m and will launch an £800,000 fundraising drive at London’s Lambeth Palace in the Spring for the second phase of work on the nave. A Rod Stewart concert in June which will see proceeds divided between the church and the Daisy Appeal, will also be a huge boost to fundraisers.

Rev Canon Dr Neal Barnes stressed the church was open as usual in the run up to Christmas, adding: “We are very excited as we have been working on this for the past five or six years and this shows things are happening. It will be a more welcoming environment for Holy Trinity, a proper and respectful setting for this magnificent building.”

Dozens of stone grave slabs, many cracked, are being taken up under the supervision of archeologists. The most intact will be reused and some stored in the crypt. The churchyard wall will be taken down in the New Year as will a towering black poplar to help create a seamless space. The church says the lower ground levels in the churchyard means they will not be disturbing any burials.

John Robinson, chair of Holy Trinity Development Trust, said the work would create a “superb city square”: “We are still saying to the people of Hull we need your support. We are confident we will get the £800,000 - but we will have to work to get it.”

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