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Page last updated at 14:16 GMT, Thursday, 17 February 2011
Lottery grant helps Brontė church's urgent roof repair
Brontė church, Haworth
Roof repairs are needed at the famous church in Haworth

The future is more secure for the church in Haworth where two of the Brontë sisters are buried.

The major tourist attraction has been granted £115,000 Heritage Lottery Fund money for urgent repairs to the roof.

Averil Kenyon, honorary treasurer at St Michael and All Angels church in Haworth, said: "Today is a very good day for our historic church.

"Getting this grant is a tremendous lift and will give us more leverage with other grant giving bodies."

The Parochial Church Council is looking for nearly a quarter of a million pounds to complete the restoration project for the church.

Repairs include reroofing the south nave, side aisle and tower.

Serious damage

Averil Kenyon said: "The church roof is leaking badly and that in turn is causing serious damage to 19th century wall paintings inside.

"Overall we will need about £240,000 to complete the project, which will be the first large scale repairs carried out on the roof since the 19th century."

The church's modern fame is chiefly due to its connections with the Brontë family.

flagstone on Bronte burial place
The church attracts visitors worldwide because of its Brontė links

The Reverend Patrick Brontë was the incumbent from 1820 to 1861.

Members of the family, including Emily and Charlotte, are buried in the family vault adjacent to the present south-east chapel.

National outcry

A decision to rebuild the church in 1879 provoked a national outcry from admirers of the novels of the Brontë sisters.

The objections failed and the foundation stone of the new church was laid on Christmas Day that year.

The church was entirely rebuilt, except for the tower.

The news means that regionally over one and a quarter million pounds has been awarded to West Yorkshire churches in the latest round of funding.

We want our historic places of worship to have a secure future
Trevor Mitchell, English Heritage

Grants will be used to help fix problems like badly leaking roofs, crumbling masonry and decaying windows.

Trevor Mitchell, English Heritage planning director, explained: "We want our historic places of worship to have a secure future.

"Not only are they places of prayer and hubs of the community, but they are also amongst this region's greatest architectural treasures."

Other churches in West Yorkshire to receive support include St Wilfrid's church in Halton, St Peter's church in Birstall and St Peter's church in Huddersfield.

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