A small North Yorkshire church is celebrating after receiving more than half a million pounds to open the building up for community use.
St John’s Church, Sharow, near Ripon has been awarded a confirmed grant of £520,800 for its ‘Vision Project’ from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) Thanks to HLF the project will restore the historic and beautiful stained glass and wall decor (see picture below right) in St John’s Church, build new facilities to increase the early 19th century church for concerts and community use and create a new car park in the village opposite the church. It is hoped the restoration work will start in the near future and the building work later this year.
The Very Revd John Dobson, Dean of Ripon who is the incumbent of Sharow said, "I am delighted by the decision of HLF to support the efforts of the people of Sharow to develop this exciting project. As well as conserving some important heritage, they wish to share a wonderfully enhanced building with the wider community in ways that will enhance many lives. I congratulate all who have played a part in getting to this point and wish them well in taking forward the project to completion."
St John’s is the Church of England parish church for the village of Sharow which is just north of Ripon. It was built in 1825 at a time when Ripon Cathedral (then Ripon Minster) had run out of space for the growing size of the community. It retains strong links with the Cathedral, being part of their benefice and the Dean being the official Incumbent.
As the only building of such size in Sharow, St John’s has become increasingly popular as a community venue and is open 365 days a year for visitors.