Leyburn church receives £10,000 grant for urgent roof repairs

Work on St Matthews, in Leyburn. Photo: Paul Carnell.

The St Matthew’s Church in Leyburn has received a £10,000 grant to pay for repairs to the roof.

A National Churches Trust Grant has paid for an urgent re-roofing project, ensuring the church can continue to support the local community.

Due to the loss of slates on the roof, the rainwater and damp was leading to the timber roof deteriorating.

As rain penetrated the stonework of the Chancel Arch of the church, the plasterwork was crumbling and falling off.

The church is a lifeline for the local community; in particular for elderly members of the community who have limited access to facilities within the town. The church also runs a lunch club, a warm space during the winter, as well as operating a food bank in partnership with the Wensleydale Open Pantry.

Claire Walker, chief executive of the National Churches Trust, said: “I’m delighted that the National Churches Trust is able to support St Matthew’s church with funding for an urgent re-roofing project. 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.”

Vicar of St Matthew’s, Reverend Stephen Hanscombe, said: “We at St Matthew’s Church are very grateful for the grant of £10,000 received from the National Churches Trust. This grant has enabled us to replace the south side of the roof where there was rain ingress at the chancel arch and where there was a hole in the roof.

“The grant has meant that we have been able to complete this work before another winter comes along.

“The grant also means that we are able to continue to offer the community activities which take place in our building as well as being a place of spiritual reflection and worship for the community of Leyburn and the many visitors who enter into our building.”

St Matthew’s church was completed in 1868 as a daughter church of Wensley Parish.

It is the only church designed by Christopher George Wray and is described as being in the geometrical style. The tower displays the only public clock in Leyburn.

The church is constructed in sandstone and has a hammerbeam roof which is covered in Welsh slate.

Its interior has been regularly modified to ensure it meets the needs of the local community.

As part of the war memorials there are tablets commemorating not just those who died, but all those who served in the Great War.