Prominent Leeds church named in £32,000 funding scheme for vital windows and roof repairs

A prominent Leeds church is celebrating after being named among six awarded over £32,000 from the Yorkshire Historic Churches Trust (YHCT).

By Alex Grant
Friday, 13th May 2022, 11:45 am

Six churches from across Yorkshire were named, including £7,000 to St Mary the Virgin in Woodkirk towards window repairs and £1,500 to Holy Rosary Catholic church in Chapeltown, towards roof repairs.

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The future of many churches is under threat due to crumbling roofs, windows and stonework.

St Mary the Virgin in Woodkirk dates from around 1100, with the original tower still in place.

The YHCT works to ensure these places of worship are kept in good repair, recognising the contribution they make to society at large and the support they provide to local communities.

The funding provides a vital lifeline to places of worship who have been unable to carry out their usual fundraising activities over the past couple of years, and at a time when many are increasingly providing a number of essential services to local communities, such as food banks and credit unions.

Grants were awarded to a range of places of worship across the region, from the large Grade II listed St. Mary the Virgin in urban area in south Leeds, to the small early 19th century St Mary’s church, Hutton Magna, a rural hamlet in Richmondshire.

St Mary the Virgin in Woodkirk dates from around 1100, with the original tower still in place. The remainder of the church was rebuilt in the 1830s after a storm blew in the roof in 1832.

The East window contains fragments of medieval stained glass but repairs are now needed in order to secure the window.

The Reverend Sharon Wilkinson, the vicar at St Mary’s, raised £4,000 from a sponsored walk towards the coast of the repairs and is determined to see the project completed before she retires.

“We are delighted to have been awarded this grant from the YHCT. Our beautiful East window is over 150 years old and is now in need of urgent repair to ensure it can be in place for another 150 years." said, Rev Sharon.

St Mary's is well loved and much used by both the congregation and the local community, who have pulled together to help with fundraising. We have held tea parties, tours and open days to raise funds and I am undertaking another sponsored walk in September and am confident we will reach our target. "

Tom Ramsden, Chairman of the Yorkshire Historic Churches Trust, said: “Thanks to the generosity of our Friends and donors, we have been able to support a wide range of places of worship.

"Over the past couple of years we have witnessed the important role churches play in bringing their local communities together and helping them thrive.

"Now, more than ever, they need our help to ensure those churches continue to support their communities for many years to come."