A HUDDERSFIELD church will undergo major restoration work – 20 years after it was almost destroyed by a fire.
St Paul’s Church at Armitage Bridge will have repairs to its tower roof, masonry and drainage systems, thanks to a £133,000 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund and English Heritage.
The work comes 20 years after the building was almost destroyed by a fire.
The blaze wrecked everything except the external walls and tower of the church, which was built in 1848 to the design of RD Chantrell of Leeds and financed by the Brook family, who owned a textile mill at Armitage Bridge.
A new interior and church roof were created and the work completed in 1990. But in recent years, parts of the sandstone tower have suffered erosion.
The pinnacles on the corner of the tower need rebuilding and the parapet, which runs around the tower, needs work to repair erosion damage.
The lead roofing on the tower needs replacing and work on the masonry on the outside of the structure must be carried out.
Scaffolding is now going up so that architects and English Heritage inspectors can assess the work that needs doing in detail.
The work, which will cost more than £200,000, is expected to start next year.
Dennis Chaffer, who attends St Paul’s and is a member of the Parochial Church Council, said: “It’s very good news. It’s very important work and it’s a massive job. It’s not a facelift, it is work that does need doing.
“If it isn’t done, parts of the church could fall down or be eroded and it would be a great loss.”
The church is just one of 16 historic places of worship in Yorkshire which are benefiting from a total of £1.2m of grants.
Nationally, the Heritage Lottery Fund and English Heritage are giving out £6.6m to 70 churches for refurbishment work.
The joint scheme is the largest single funding source for church refurbishment and has given £120m out in grants to 1,150 projects since 2002.
Maddy Jago, English Heritage’s regional director for planning and development, said the grants are vital for churches.
She said: “Churches often experience real difficulty in meeting maintenance costs, so these grants will make a big difference to hard-pressed congregations.
“Being able to make timely repairs is vital if much bigger bills are to be avoided further down the road.”
Anyone who wants to help with fundraising can write to St Paul’s Church, Armitage Road, Armitage Bridge, Huddersfield, HD4 7NR.