Christmas joy as Holbeck church receives funding boost

A much loved Leeds church is to share in a large funding payout from the National Churches Trust. 

An £8,000 National Churches Trust Community Grant will help fund a project to refurbish the kitchen of Grade II listed St Luke’s church, Holbeck, ensuring the church can function as a hub for the community. 

In total  the Trust is giving away more than £429,000 to 77 different church projects across the country.

Broadcaster and journalist Huw Edwards, Vice President of The National Churches Trust, said: “The UK's historic churches and chapels are a vital part of our national heritage. But to survive, many need to carry out urgent repairs and install modern facilities. The cost of this work is far beyond what most congregations can pay for themselves.”

“So I’m delighted that to St Luke’s, Holbeck, is being helped with a £8,000 National Churches Trust Grant. The new facilities will ensure the church remains a lifeline for its inner city community.”

A total of 77 churches and chapels in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland will benefit from the latest grants from the National Churches Trust, the charity supporting church buildings of all Christian denominations across the UK.

In 2018 the National Churches Trust awarded grants of £1.2 million to help 202 projects at churches and chapels around the UK. 

Demand for funding from the National Churches Trust continues to grow, with 583 grant applications received in 2018, up from 473 grant applications in 2017, a 23% increase.

The church

The Grade II listed church, built in 1872, hosts many social projects, from English-language teaching for Syrian refugees to work experience programmes for young people.

To ensure these activities can continue, the church building is being renovated and an extension built, with work starting next year.

The project

The building work will introduce accessible toilets and meeting rooms, a new kitchen and create a flexible layout, meaning that as much of the space is used as possible.

After the work is complete the church will be open seven days a week, with at least four events a day – from English-language classes and IT courses to youth clubs, lunch clubs, a community cafe and an advice and drop-in centre.

Reverend Canon Alistair Kaye, vicar at St Luke’s, said: “We are thrilled at the generosity of the National Churches Trust. The funding will help provide a facility which can be enjoyed by local people for many for years to come. This is a much-needed boost for our inner city community and we are very grateful."

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