Dales church given grants to tackle damp issues

St Oswald Church in Askrigg. Photo: Stephanie Durrant.

A Dales church has received grants to help it tackle a problem with damp and mould.

A £10,000 National Churches Trust Grant will help to pay for urgent tower repairs at St Oswald Church in Askrigg.

The church will also receive a £5,000 Wolfson Fabric Repair Grant from the Wolfson Foundation and £1,500 from the Headley Trust, on the recommendation of the National Churches Trust.

The walls at the church are green and black with mould and algae in places.

The funding will pay for work to stabilise the damp 15th century tower by removing the cement and repointing, rendering and limewashing.

The church hosts essential local services, such as a food pantry and is open for people to use its wifi.

However, the church is no longer able to use the building as a concert venue or to host exhibitions, due to the damp affecting instruments and displays.

Claire Walker, chief executive of the National Churches Trust, said: “I’m delighted that the National Churches Trust is able to support St Oswald’s church with funding for urgent tower repairs. This will safeguard the unique heritage of this ancient and historic church and keep it open and in use for the benefit of local people.”

“Whether seeking quiet reflection, access to community services or a place to worship, the National Churches Trust helps hundreds of churches each year and with the support of local people, keeps them open and thriving.”

Paul Ramsbottom, chief executive of the Wolfson Foundation, said: “As well as being places of worship and buildings of beauty, churches sit at the heart of the community. In many ways they stand between the past and present. We are thrilled to continue our partnership with the National Churches Trust to support the preservation of these significant, much-loved historic buildings across the UK.”

Reverend Dave Clark, from St Oswald church, said: “We are very grateful to the National Churches Trust, the Wolfson Foundation and the Headley Trust for their support of our project. St Oswald’s Church, and in particular its tower and village clock, are a landmark within the Yorkshire Dales.

“It can be seen from the tops of Addleborough and Whitaside and for villagers journeying along the A684, it represents that feeling of being ‘nearly home’.  It’s important to us as a church family that we do all we can to secure its wellbeing and integrity for many decades to come.”

“The tower has been damp for a very long time, but the project to solve this issue has been too big to undertake by previous generations. This is why we are so pleased that with the help of these grants it will be possible to secure the physical structure of the church building for future generations.”