St Peter's Rawdon, which is thought to have been attended by Charlotte Brontë, has received a grant of £104,800 from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
As well as essential conservation work to the tower and roof, the grant will fund a visitor project. The project will include an audio resource for visitors to learn about of the history of Rawdon and people associated with the church, such as Charlotte Brontë (who is thought to have attended services when she served as governess to a wealthy cloth manufacturer), Frances Layton (Master of the Jewel House for King Charles I and King Charles II) and Anglo Saxon landowners identified in the Doomsday Book.
The work is being assisted by Dr Rosemary Mitchell and Dr Janet Kelly with students from Leeds Trinity University. They researched the history of religion, leisure and architecture in the village and their findings will be shown in the audio visual presentation. There will also be an educational programme for local schools.
Churchwarden Bob Graham said, "This project is the first in the church’s 300 year history that combines so many historical facts about the village in one place. We also have to thank St Peter’s congregation, local infant schools and the Rawdon community for their fundraising without their efforts this work would not have been possible."
Fiona Spiers, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund, Yorkshire and Humber, said; “This grant will not only secure the immediate future of this historic building, but will enable the community and visitors to get involved and learn about the history of the local area.”