A neglected Victorian church which was at the heart of a Sheffield community is falling apart – and needs saving now, says the Victorian Society.
St Vincent’s Church, a well-known local landmark, on Solly Street, is the newest addition to a list of Sheffield’s most at-risk buildings.
The church has been deserted for 18 years and is now wildly overgrown with weeds.
Vandals have smashed the building up, leaving it to decay.
Valerie Bayliss, chairman of The Victorian Society’s South Yorkshire Regional Group, said: “It just needs people to pay attention to it and have money spent on it and it will be an ornament not an eyesore.”
Before its closure in 1998, St Vincent’s was the heart of the Catholic community, who lived in the Croft area, close to the city centre.
Valerie said the church should be converted into apartments, alongside the surrounding area which is being restored.
She said: “It should be saved because it’s a good quality Victorian and Edwardian building, and we are losing too many of them.”
The church can be seen from most of the city centre and its grey stone tower dominates the hill it sits on.
But if the building is left to deteriorate it could become dangerous due to vandal damage, fears Valerie.
The church was set for re-use back in 2004, as the city council planned to add green areas for public use.
But the plans did not go ahead and now campaigners hope a new plea for attention will be St Vincent’s last chance.
The Victorian Society’s list of most endangered buildings also includes The Salvation Army Citadel on Cross Burgess Street in the city centre , St Michael’s RC Mortuary Chapel at City Road Cemetery and All Saints’ Mission Room on Forncett Street, Burngreave.
The list was created in 2014 to raise awareness and since then, the group has been given permission to convert the Citadel into a shop, as part of the new Retail Quarter.
It was built by the long-established firm Hadfields, and was restored after being damaged during the Blitz.
Valerie said: “You can leave an old building for a long time but it gets to the point of serious damage.
“You can and should do something with old churches.”
The nearby parish church is set to be converted into student and general apartments, so hopeful plans for St Vincent’s will be similar.