The Catholic Church across Yorkshire's historic West Riding since 1878

The Catholic Church across Yorkshire's historic West Riding since 1878

New Initiative Brings Welcome Support for Churches and Parishes

The provision and maintenance of our places of worship is one of the main objectives of the Diocese of Leeds in its role as a registered charity. It goes without saying that this can be a very expensive undertaking. While the majority of these costs are met from within the Diocese’s own resources, during the past year the Diocesan Finance Department has begun to prioritise applying for funds that are available from various grant-awarding bodies that support church-based activities. The work so far on this front has met with some success. Indeed, since the start of the 2019-20 Financial Year building projects of one kind or another, across the Diocese, have been awarded grants worth over £175,000 in total. So, this is an important initiative which can help to relieve some of the financial pressures that face our parishes as they each try to care for their churches.

Parish Name Grant Awarding Body   Value of Award (£) 
Barnoldswick, St Joseph’s Allchurches Trust Ltd        1,950
Bishop Thornton, St Joseph Allchurches Trust Ltd        1,800
Bradford , Parish of Mary Mother of God Allchurches Trust Ltd        2,250
Halifax , St Columba Allchurches Trust Ltd        3,500
Heckmondwike, The Holy Spirit Allchurches Trust Ltd        4,500
Yorkshire Historic Churches Trust        3,000
Keighley, Parish of Our Lady of Victories and St Anne Allchurches Trust Ltd        2,500
Ripon, St Wilfrid Albert Gubay Foundation     30,000
Idlewild Trust        5,000
Yorkshire Historic Churches Trust        4,000
Garfield Weston Foundation     25,000
Skipton, St Stephen Albert Gubay Foundation     50,000
Allchurches Trust Ltd     23,000
St Patrick’s Mission Allchurches Trust Ltd     11,000
William and Jane Morris Fund        2,000
Yorkshire Historic Churches Trust        4,000
Knights of St Columba, Bradford           500
Wakefield, St Martin De Porres Allchurches Trust Ltd        1,950
Yeadon, Ss Peter & Paul Allchurches Trust Ltd        1,800

As the table shows, these grants have helped to finance a range of repairs and improvements at a number of locations, including roof repairs at Holy Spirit, Heckmondwike; boiler replacements in Barnoldswick, Bishop Thornton, Halifax and Wakefield; the development of new disabled-access toilets at Yeadon and St Winefride’s, Wibsey; and a new lighting scheme for the interior of St Anne’s Church, Keighley.

Three major projects have also benefited from grant funding: the redevelopment of the Parish Centre currently underway at St Stephen’s, Skipton; the refurbishment of St Wilfrid’s Church in Ripon; and the restoration of St Patrick’s Mission Church in Bradford, which re-opened in October last year.

As a Diocese we are very grateful for the support that we have received during the past year from all the charities, foundations and trusts listed above. At the same time their willingness to provide financial help with these projects is a significant vote of confidence in the heritage value of our churches and also in the positive role they play within their local communities.

This is a good news story that we hope is only just beginning.