A church in Salford gutted by arson has risen from the ashes

Video report by ITV Granada Reports correspondent Andy Bonner

Parishioners at a church in Salford feared the worst when a suspected arson attack reduced their historic church to ashes.

Now the community at the Church of the Ascension in Lower Broughton have rallied around to bring the building back to life.

The bell at the Church of the Ascension has been a call to prayer for over a century Credit: ITV Granada

The bell at the Church of the Ascension has been silent for five years, after fire gutted the Grade II listed building.

Thanks to a £5 million restoration, the church has risen again from the ashes.

The church was gutted by fire in February 2017 when arsonists struck Credit: ITV Granada

The new rector Revd Canon Falak Sher joined when the church was still a shell.

"The presence of the church at the heart of the community is uplifting for the people of Lower Broughton. I am very pleased to be able to serve the people of God here." 

"When I came and saw this, I could only see the scaffolding. I can only see the ground. I could only see the mess. So I thought twice. Then I heard the echo. So it is God's blessing that among this new developed area, we got this brand new church."

The church's stunning £5 million restoration Credit: ITV Granada

Experts have painstakingly recreated the building, but with a light, modern twist.

There's a brand new organ and even under floor heating, a welcome warm space for the congregation as the cost of living bites.

The Bishop of Bolton, Mark Ashcroft, said:

"The Ascension is an iconic building for the people of Salford and I am thrilled that the church has re-opened and formally rededicated at a special service."

"Now the adventure is to rebuild the living stones of a worshipping community that brings the light and life of Christ to Lower Broughton."