£170k for church repairs

6th July 2010'Pontefract St Giles Church'Y5civiccomp
6th July 2010'Pontefract St Giles Church'Y5civiccomp

A £170k grant has been awarded to help repair external stonework at Pontefract’s St Giles’ Church.

The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) cash will support the church’s £800k refurbishment project.

The scheme has seen the interior of the church transformed to include new community facilities along with areas for worship.

External restorations were made to the south and south-west elevations last year.

The latest batch of funding means that external repairs to the north and east walls will be completed by summer 2015.

Rev Bob Cooper, vicar of St Giles, said: “We’re obviously delighted to receive the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund towards our aim of renovating the whole of the outside of the building.

“We’re also pleased with the work undertaken in the first phase which has already made a considerable contribution towards preserving the heritage of what is arguably the town’s most prestigious building.”

St Giles is one of more than 3,000 projects across the country to receive HLF funding.

Fiona Spiers, from the fund, said: “Not only will our awards secure the immediate future of the particular buildings, it will also empower congregations to adapt the buildings so they can be enjoyed more widely through the community.”

The Grade II*-listed church has seen various restoration projects since it was first built as a chapel-of-ease 900 years ago.

The building was originally used by monks who came to the town in the 12th century. The last major building works at the church took place in 1868 when alterations were carried out to lower the chancel roof to the same level as the nave.