All Saints' Church Shiptonthorpe (south-east of York) has received a substantial grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), under the Grants for Places of Worship Scheme, to will carry out major restoration work on the endangered 12th Century church.

The HLF grant of £188,300 supports a £254,000 comprehensive works programme to guarantee the integrity of the church for years to come. This will allow All Saints' Church to replace the slate-tiled roof and areas of its supporting structure, as well as the rain-water guttering and drainage system, and to undertake substantial masonry and stonework repairs and conservation work on the stained glass windows.

In addition the project will attract a range of visitors to this Grade 1 Listed church. A guided-tour programme is being prepared, based on a new locally-printed history and guide. There will be displays in the church, and photographs and memorabilia will be put on-line to allow wider public access. A toilet and kitchenette facilities will be installed in the church.

The work has been approved by Historic England in York, to plans and specifications drawn up by York architects PPIY. The main building contractor Stone Edge will manage the project from their Pocklington office.

The current stone church was built in the 12th and 13th Centuries, though a place of worship had probably been on-site for hundreds of years before. Its last major restoration was in the 19th Century when the roof and porch were replaced and the walls repaired with new window openings and Victorian and early 20th Century stained-glass windows, and more recently a central heating system was introduced.

In addition to services, the church has been used for regular concerts by local musicians and holds events such as the biennial Flower Festival.

Churchwarden Steve Jones said: “The Church Council is delighted and very grateful to receive continuing support from National Lottery players. We are also very grateful for other church-based grants we have received, and donations from the local community and businesses. The Grade 1 Listed church in Shiptonthorpe has supported so many people in the village and outlying areas over past centuries and continues to do so today.

“It is a place for our weddings, christenings and funerals and provides a space for quiet reflection during the week when there have been major national or international disasters, or more local worries or concerns.

“We believe that visitors will gain much from seeing the beauty of such an historic church.”

Archdeacon of York the Ven Sarah Bullock said, “Shiptonthorpe village is mentioned in the Domesday Book and the beautiful Grade 1 listed church building has been home to a worshipping congregation since the 12th Century. The church and the village are of great historical interest and attract many visitors. The congregation is creating a wonderful space to which all are welcome for worship, social activities and to learn more of the story of this place.

“We are delighted that the Heritage Lottery Fund has decided to make such a significant grant award and we are also immensely grateful to Church Care and Yorkshire Historic Churches Trust for their grants and to local people for their support in realising the vision for a building renewed for service and witness in the 21st century.”