Church’s funding boost

TALL ORDER: Project manager Brian Pearson outside the church. (d15031143)
TALL ORDER: Project manager Brian Pearson outside the church. (d15031143)

AN historic Dewsbury church is celebrating a major funding boost.

St Michael and All Angels in Thornhill - described as one of the 1,000 best churches in the country - has clinched £200,000 to secure its future for another generation.

The grants will mean much-needed work can be done on the 15th century tower, a porch and the lych gate to ensure they continue to withstand the elements.

But the congregation still needs to find £12,000 for the project to renovate what is Dewsbury’s only Grade 1 listed building.

Specialist stonemasons from York began work this week.

English Heritage has given £190,000, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, towards the £250,000 renovation.

The grants will also mean essential work on drainage, gutters and downpipes can get under way. And in addition to outside work, major upkeep can be done inside.

Ancient Savile Chapel monuments have been boarded up to protect them during restoration of a 1622 tribute to Sir George Savile by royal sculptor Maximilian Coulte. Several other monuments will also be restored and three 15th century windows will be taken away for conservation. The National Churches Trust has given £10,000.

Church project manager Brian Pearson said: “The grants will enable this unique building in the life of Thornhill to be available for the next generation. We as a church still need to find £12,000 and will continue fund-raising work.”

St Michael’s can be traced back to the 9th century and was mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086.