Diocese of York

St Helen’s Parochial Church Council (PCC), Escrick has appointed Jon Steel, Chartered Building Surveyor as Lead Consultant for the “Walking through the centuries with a Legless Knight” project. The project has been supported by National Lottery Players through a development phase grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).

Jon will work to develop and detail the project plan, with Project Architect Jamie Holden of Studio Tamacoco Architects and with recently appointed Heritage Engagement Officer, Michala Pearson, and the St Helen’s Project Team led by Caroline Wandless, Churchwarden.

Later in 2017, the detailed plans will form the basis for the submission to the HLF for delivery phase funding to realise the project’s full potential.

If successful in achieving delivery phase funding, the project will revitalise St Helen’s, displaying its many significant artefacts and memorials to best effect in a Heritage Hub which will make St Helen’s accessible and attractive to a wider community and especially to local schools.

“The project has received a boost already from the enthusiasm and knowledge of Jon Steel, working with Project Architect, Jamie Holden. We are delighted to have their services and confident that they will help us to put forward an exciting, practical and sustainable submission for delivery phase funding from the HLF. This will enable us to showcase the interwoven story of the heritage of church, village and estate in a Heritage Hub which will open up this beautiful church to a wider community.”

Caroline Wandless, Churchwarden and Project Team Leader

“I’m delighted to have been appointed as Lead Consultant on this really worthwhile project, working with Jamie, Caroline and her team. We are excited at how we can make a significant contribution to a transformation which will enable many more people, especially youngsters, to appreciate the rich heritage of this fine building.”

John Steel

St Helen’s Parish Church of Escrick was built in 1857 and is a Grade II* Gothic Revival building. The Architect was Francis Penrose, Surveyor of St Paul’s Cathedral and later President of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). It sits majestically at the side of the A19 half way between York and Selby. The Church is in the Derwent Deanery within the Diocese of York. The Church is available for all Parish residents for weddings, baptisms and funerals and provides a venue for concerts by local choirs who appreciate the natural acoustic of the building, art exhibitions and school visits. St Helen’s generates opportunities for people to feel part of something special, with more than 60 people involved in various volunteering activities from cutting the Churchyard grass, cleaning, helping with fund raising events, flower arranging, editing and distributing the parish magazine to name but a few. St Helen’s provides an enduring presence in the community, open to all, and offers a haven of tranquillity and stability in a busy world.

Jon J Steel, Bsc (Hons), MA (Bldg Con), MRICS, Chartered Building Surveyor

Haxby, York-based, Jon Steel is an experienced specialist in the conservation and repair of historic buildings, and is an Associate Member of the Ecclesiastical Architects and Surveyors Association. He has worked closely with ecclesiastical specialist Ferry and Mennim Ltd, has been project surveyor on church projects at Wheldrake, Askham Richard and Little Driffield and has been on the York Diocesan list of Inspectors since 2008.

Jamie Melville Holden, BArch, RIBA, RIAS, Director of Studio Tamacoco Architects


York-based Project Architect Jamie Holden is an RIBA registered Architect and Approved Inspector for churches within the Diocese of York and West Yorkshire and the Dales. He has successfully undertaken many church restoration and re-ordering projects, including schemes at Lincoln, Sheffield, Banbury, Barnsley, Slingsby, New Rossington and Cottingham.