A MENSTON church is celebrating after being awarded funding towards vital roof repairs.

St John's, Menston, which is marks its 150th anniversary this year, is one of 17 churches from across Yorkshire to share just under £70,000 from Yorkshire Historic Churches Trust (YHCT).

Funding for essential repairs, conservation and maintenance works was awarded to places of worship including Methodist, Anglican, Roman Catholic and Quaker denominations.

The future of many churches is under threat due to crumbling roofs, windows and stonework. 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, especially during the ongoing Covid crisis.

The funding provides a vital lifeline to places of worship who have been unable to carry out their usual fundraising activities over the past year, and at a time when many are increasingly providing a number of essential services to local communities, such as post office services, food banks, homeless support, credit unions, as well as offering buildings that provide peace and comfort.

St John’s plays an important role in the local community, hosting regular Mother’s Union meetings and a youth club, alongside a number of weekly services.

Over the last ten years, the slated roof has been rapidly deteriorating and a full replacement of most of the roof covering is urgently needed if irreparable damage to the fabric of the building is to be avoided. The YHCT were delighted to award £4,000 towards the repair costs.

The church is a much -loved building and the local community have rallied round to help with the fundraising efforts, including hosting an open gardens event taking part in a sponsored walk.

The Rev Steve Proudlove, Vicar at St John’s said: “We are delighted to receive funding from the YHCT towards the costs of the roof repairs. The church plays an important role in the local community, and by re-slating the roof we can equip St John's to serve the parish for another 150 years. As we do this, we also plan to insulate the roof space as part of our ongoing commitment to the environment."

Tom Ramsden, Chairman of the Yorkshire Historic Churches Trust, said: “Over the past eighteen months many places of worship have struggled to keep their buildings open and active. These are community places, and many provide a much needed hub for a range of community activities.”

You can become a Friend of the Trust and help support local places of worship from £35 per year. For more details visit www.yhct.org.uk