A landmark Leeds church which was in such a state of disprepair it was deemed ‘at risk’ is now being revamped after an extensive fundraising drive.
Last year English Heritage placed the Grade 1 listed Church of the Epiphany at Gipton on the ‘at risk’ register after evidence of serious widespread disrepair was discovered.
Now parish priest Fr Paul Payton says the fact that building repair work is under way on the roof and brickwork at the church has given the Gipton community a boost.
The church has benefited from Lottery Heritage Grants, English Heritage grants and £50,000 from funds raised by a tax on rubbish.
Companies who use landfill sites to dispose of waste are charged, and the money is used to benefit local communities. Grants are awarded from the funds by Waste Recycling environmental Limited (WReN) to community, conservation and heritage projects within a 10-mile radius of landfill sites, from funds donated by Waste Recycling Group (WRG) to the Landfill Communities Fund.
Parish priest Fr Payton said the essential repair and maintenance work will secure its continuing place at the heart of the community.
He added: “This is a good news story for Gipton, a community which sometimes suffers from bad press based on how things might have been in the past.
“Gipton is a community in transition, a place of increasing social, ethnic and religious diversity. The building work at the church, as a sign of repair, renewal and regeneration, echoes the exciting potential for continued positive growth in the life of the local community.”
Peter Cox, managing director of WReN, said: “WReN makes a difference to people’s lives by awarding grants to community, environmental and heritage projects across the UK. It’s vital we support the long-term survival of historical sites such as the Church of the Epiphany. Buildings like these are part of the fabric of the UK.”
The Church of the Epiphany was built in the late 1930s to a design by the architect Nugent Cachemaille-Day.