The tiny church of St Hilda in the Ellerburn valley has managed to land vital National Lottery support.
Once the mother church within the benefice, its future could lie in the balance due to diminishing congregation numbers and rising maintenance costs.
However, the recently formed Friends of St Hilda’s Church committee are on a mission to share the beauty, heritage and history of this ancient place of worship with visitors far and wide.
The campaign has now received a boost in form of a £3,000 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).
The HLF grant will allow the church to create dedicated information areas, share the history of the church and the industrial past of the valley. Information boards will illustrate the story of St Hilda, the church’s time-line through history, and its importance as a place of worship and pilgrimage.
Cllr John Garbutt, one of the founder members, said: “We are extremely grateful to National Lottery players who have made this possible.
“We will produce Information booklets plus activities and lectures will take place regularly to help sustain an income to preserve the church for generations to come.”
Church warden Liz Cowley added: “The Friends of St. Hilda’s has attracted members from all over the country and on a local level we are actively seeking volunteers to help us with research and data collection.”