Council steps in to save historic Leeds church with royal connections

St John's Church in Roundhay, Leeds.
St John's Church in Roundhay, Leeds.
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A historic Leeds church with royal connections has been saved from falling into a dangerous state of disrepair.

Grade II listed St John’s Church, in Roundhay, has fallen into disrepair since being sold in 2010 for a nominal £1 to the Pentecostal City Mission (PCM), a small-London based evangelical church.

The crumbling church has suffered from leaks and problems with the ventilation after its exterior deteriorated.

Leeds City Council now looks set to spend nearly £12,000 to repair the church and will recover the costs from the owners.

St John’s churchyard includes the graves of a number of members of the influential Lupton family who are directly related to the Duchess of Cambridge.

Councillor Peter Gruen, executive board member for Neighbourhoods, Planning and Support Services, said: “I will not see this building descend into complete disrepair.

“The council has done everything in its power to force the building owner to undertake these works.

“Eventually, we have to do something ourselves to prevent a catastrophe.

“I am shocked it has taken so long for some indication from The Pentecostal City Mission Church that they will repair their building.

“If they do not undertake these works themselves I am instructing officers to pursue the property owner for every last penny we have to spend.”

The council wrote to the church’s owners to insist they repair the building before serving them with a formal notice that they will start repair work.

Local councillor Christine Macniven (Labour, Roundhay) added: “The church has a really beautiful interior and unless it is protected I fear for its survival.

“If necessary, by using some of the council’s money and reclaiming this in full from the property owner, we can save this attractive and historic building”

The historic church is located on the edge of Roundhay Park.

The Gothic Revival style Grade II listed building was completed in 1826 and the chancel was enlarged in 1885.

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