A group of film enthusiasts have documented the restoration of a fascinating feature of Bury’s skyline – and residents have been invited to a one-off screening.

The Bury Cine Society’s latest film, An Icon Restored, charts the painstaking restoration of the Lantern Tower at St Marie’s RC Church on Manchester Road.

The society followed the restoration of the tower over three years and will screen the film at The Met next month and hope to shine a light on a unique part of Bury’s history.

The film, which began production in 2019, tells the story of St Marie’s Lantern Tower which was first built more than 200 years ago.

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Bury Times: The lantern tower at St Marie's RC Church, Manchester RoadThe lantern tower at St Marie's RC Church, Manchester Road (Image: Roy Turner/Bury Cine Society)

Society chairman, Roy Turner, said production of the film was only expected to last for six months, but was delayed due to the pandemic.

He said: “It all started in 2019 when we found out about the lantern tower which was in a bad way.

“We had a chat with the church people, and they were quite in favour of us making the film.

“The tower had to be completely demolished and the stones were all numbered and rebuilt in their original position but with the structure much more firm.”

Roy, who has been involved with the society since 1965, said the production was slowed by restrictions on socialising put in place during the pandemic as well as additional repair worked required on the church building.

“Some of the plastering was in a bad way and a lot of this was caused by the tower situation,” he said.

The film follows the work, which was funded with the help of National Lottery Heritage Fund grant, and ends with the congregation returning to the church after being restored.

Roy said: “We wanted to finish the film with the church coming back into normal use.

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Bury Times: Restoration of the church tower took around three yearsRestoration of the church tower took around three years (Image: Roy Turner/Bury Cine Society)

“The film ends with a sequence of the church coming into use with people going to mass.”

He says he hopes the film will appeal to those with an interest in Bury's history in the hope that they can learn something new about the town.

“People are interested in the town and how it’s changed,” he said.

“We thought this was interesting in the same way.

“It’s a story about the church being restored.”

An Icon Restored will show at The Met on Wednesday, November 14 at 7.30pm.