£100,000 grant for historic Leeds church

St Peter's Church, Rawdon
St Peter's Church, Rawdon
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A church thought to have been attended by Charlotte Brontë has received £104,800 to secure its immediate future.

St Peter’s Church, Rawdon, was given the Heritage Lottery Fund grant to conserve the Grade II listed building.

Repairs to its tower, roof and gable ends will take place to stop rain water leaking in and further destroying stonework.

The project will also include a visual educational programme in the adjoining St Peter’s Room, with teachers from local schools for children aged five to 11 year olds.

Visitors to the church itself will be able to learn about the history of the village through an audio resource focusing on people who lived in or are associated with Rawdon.

These include Charlotte Brontë who is thought to have attended services when she served as governess to John White, a wealthy cloth manufacturer. Others include Frances Layton, Master of the Jewel House for King Charles I and King Charles II, and benefactor for the building of St Peter’s Church.

Bob Graham, a churchwarden and patron, said: “This project is the first in the church’s 300 year old history that combines so many historical facts about the village in one place. It is also important to thank St Peter’s congregation and local infant schools together with Di Oldam and the Rawdon community for their fundraising. Without their efforts and encouragement this historically important work would not have been possible.”

Leeds Trinity University students have researched the village’s history and their findings will be included in the presentation which will accompany a guidebook.

Fiona Spiers, head of Heritage Lottery Fund, Yorkshire and Humber, said: “This grant will not only secure the immediate future of this historic building, but will enable the community and visitors to get involved and learn about the history of the local area.”

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