AN HISTORIC Maltby cross has been salvaged and safely stored ready for its resurrection.
Until recently the Bede Cross stood proud for more than 50 years in the grounds of the Church of the Venerable Bede.
It was made by local school boys for the church’s opening in 1959 which still holds memories for some in the town.
When the Salisbury Road church closed five years ago, community groups and services moved to St Bartholomew’s but the 14 ft monument was left standing.
Now, the Maltby community has rallied round to save the cross, putting it into safe storage and finding an eventual new home.
“With the closure of the Bede Church, many discussions developed on what was to happen to the cross,” said Maltby Town councillor Keith Stringer.
“Some suggestions were that it should be erected in the cemetery on Grange Lane, whilst others suggested the peace garden on the High Street – both met with differences of opinion.”
But the most appropriate place is thought to be St Bartholomew’s Church in Church Lane.
Team rector at St Bartholomew’s Peter Claig-Wild said: “The cross, which is made of wood and metal, needs quite a lot of repair work.”
“It has been left to the elements for 50 years and having just sold the site the cross needed moving before the building is demolished.”
Mr Craig-Wild explained that the Bede Cross was currently in storage at Sandbeck Hall, kindly offered by the Earl of Scarborough.
Said he: “We have been thinking about what we can do to bring it up to date but be sensitive to its age.”
“So we thought it would be a good idea to incorporate the cross into the renovation work we are doing at St Bart’s.”
The church has just appointed an architect so the project should begin to take shape.
Howard Hargreaves, like many in Maltby, is glad the Bede Cross has found a new home.
He helped carve the huge structure as a boy at Maltby Hall Secondary Modern School under the supervision of woodwork teachers Mr Shaw and Mr Smith.
“Once we’d finished it was carried by the pupils up to the church where it has stood for half a century,” said Mr Hargreaves of Bevan Crescent.
“Mr Smith is still living in Maltby and I’m sure he will be pleased the cross has found a new home.”
“St Bart’s is the only C of E church left in Maltby so it’s only fitting the cross should stand there for many years to come.”