Heaven-sent millions as lottery steps in to fund backlog of repairs at churches

Churchgoers at some of the region’s most historic places of worship have had their prayers answered by a grant of more than £2m to carry out urgent repairs.

SIGNIFICANT: St Charles Borromeo RC Church in Hull, one of the first built at the time of the Catholic Emancipation Act of 1829.

The Heritage Lottery Fund has released vital funds to help maintain 14 churches across Yorkshire.

St Charles Borromeo in Hull is among the first of 35 churches to be awarded funding for a backlog of repairs through the Grants for Places of Worship programme.

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The Grade II* listed Roman Catholic Church in Jarratt Street has been awarded £246,000 for repairs to its roof and interior.

A new guidebook and website will also be produced.

It was one of the first major Roman Catholic churches built at the time of the Catholic Emancipation Act of 1829, and is described as “hugely significant”.

The building is essentially Baroque Roman in design but with a heavy touch of the Austrian Rococo, with much of the internal painting focusing on icons of English saints.

A grant of £207,700 has been awarded to the Grade II* listed St Mary the Virgin church in Mirfield, which is in “urgent need of repair” to its tower and stocks. Other work will be carried out on its external fabric, stonework, and vestry roof.

All Saints Parish Church in Sherburn-in-Elmet, near Selby, has been awarded £42,900 for a series of repairs to the glazing, stonework, and “severely decayed” tower spiral staircase at the Grade I listed building. Here too, the guidebook will be updated.

Other beneficiaries in the region include churches in Hawes, Clapham near Settle, Bradford, Todmorden, Leeds, Walkley in Sheffield, and Whitby in North Yorkshire.

English Heritage planning and conservation director Trevor Mitchell said: “These funds will help the local congregations keep their buildings viable and help us keep our heritage alive.

“By providing money for visitor facilities, exhibitions, books and tour guides, as well as essential repairs, the grants will help the public enjoy and appreciate these buildings.”