Funding boost for churchyard group

Friends of St Matthew's Churchyard. Committee members (from left to right) John Brooke, Angela Monaghan, Ian Philp (Chair) and Mike Wood in St. Matthew's Churchyard, Lightcliffe.
Friends of St Matthew's Churchyard. Committee members (from left to right) John Brooke, Angela Monaghan, Ian Philp (Chair) and Mike Wood in St. Matthew's Churchyard, Lightcliffe.

The Friends of St Matthew’s Churchyard, Lightcliffe, has received £14,700 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for the sympathetic renovation of the old churchyard.

Led by volunteers, the project will create a peaceful, welcoming space in the middle of Lightcliffe that can be enjoyed by all the local community.

Friends chairman Ian Philp said: “We are thrilled to have received the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund.

“This old churchyard represents much of our local heritage and deserves to be cared for. The Heritage Lottery funding will make a huge difference and we can’t wait to get on with delivering our plans.”

Over the next two years, the Friends group will use the funding to clear overgrown areas; install information boards and seating; create trails around the churchyard to help visitors discover more about the wildlife and history of the churchyard and encourage links with local schools.

The group will run volunteer work parties every third Sunday in the month, plus a range of other activities and events throughout the year.

It will also work with The Friends of Friendless Churches to improve the iconic Grade II listed tower, which is all that remains of the old church built in 1775.