Founded in 1988, the Yorkshire Historic Churches Trust was established with the aim of helping the preservation, repair, and maintenance of churches within the historic boundary of Yorkshire. Since 1988, the Trust has funded almost £3,000,000 worth of grants to more than 800 churches in need. Through the generosity of donors, members, and the public, the YHCT gives around £100,000 a year to churches in need of repair and preservation.
The Trust has recently awarded grants to two churches in the Diocese of Leeds.
St Augustine’s, at Harehills in Leeds, is currently undergoing extensive roof repairs, costing over £50,000. St Augustine’s has been fortunate enough to receive generous donations from various sources, and most recently the YHCT awarded St Augustine’s £6,000 towards the cost the repairs to the church’s roof.
St Augustine’s is a large and impressive brick church of the 1930s, which is considered to be bold and original in design. The modern, jazzy detailing owes something to both Northern European church design of the early twentieth century. St Augustine’s is one of three large churches built in Leeds shortly before the Second World War by the local architects Gribbon, Foggitt & Brown. It won the RIBA Bronze Medal for 1936. The sanctuary was remodelled by Derek Walker in 1960, including a large mosaic of the Risen Christ by Roy Lewis.
St Joseph’s Wetherby was awarded £2,000 for roof repairs costing a total of £17,000 from the YHCT. With this and other funding the parish is looking to be able to begin these works soon.
St Joseph’s is a fine modern church with furnishings designed by the architect Vincente Stienlet and the sculptor Fenwick Lawson. The new church is grafted onto an earlier Victorian church by Edward Simpson, which is now the parish hall, and is sensitively designed to fit within the centre of the Wetherby Conservation Area. It was opened and dedicated on 11 October 1986 and the building won the Leeds Award for Architecture in 1987.
As a Diocese we are very grateful for the grants received from the YHCT and the Trust’s recognition of the heritage value attached to our churches.
For more information about the YHCT and how to become a Friend of the Trust follow the link below. Friends of the Trust receive regular newsletters, and invitations to a range of events, including architectural tours and lectures