Facelift church lands civic society honour

AN ANCIENT church given a new lease of life through a 300,000 facelift has been presented with an architectural prize.

AN ANCIENT church  given a new lease of life through a 300,000 facelift  has been presented with an architectural prize.

Grade II-listed St Leonards in Thrybergh, which had faced closure, has won Rotherham District Civic Societys Stan Crowther Award.

The award, named after the societys late honorary president, is given to new or refurbished buildings of architectural merit.

St Leonards Church was given a new stainless steel roof, stonework repairs and improvements to the vestry and stained glass window.

The project was largely financed through English Heritage, with contributions from the Diocese of Sheffield, Yorkshire Historic Churches Trust and parishioners.

Parochial church council chairman Keith Hanson said: We are very pleased with the award and would like to thank the society.

We feel it is important that the preservation of ancient buildings continues to be recognised in this country.

Society chairman Brian King said: The church of St Leonard is a hidden gem of Rotherham. The award is being made for two reasons.

Firstly, with the support of the Sheffield Diocese, plans to close the church were foiled.

Secondly, the congregation, led by Keith and a small team of experts, raised 229,000, which with help and guidance from the National Heritage Fund, re-roofed the church and saved the monuments and memorials in the church.

The church, which reopened in September 2014, is open to view on Mondays between 10am and 4pm until October. Church services are held there on the third and fourth Sundays of the month at 9.30am.