St Matthew's Church, Renishaw: World War One memorial clock in Sheffield set to undergo £17.5K restoration

A Sheffield village famous for its vineyard is toasting the news that it has won £17,500 National Lottery funding to restore a church clock.

By Julia Armstrong
Thursday, 10th March 2022, 3:33 pm
Updated Thursday, 10th March 2022, 3:34 pm

The World War One Memorial Project at St Matthew’s Church in Renishaw has been awarded a £17,553 grant by The National Lottery Heritage Fund to conserve the village clock.

The memorial is an unassuming clock above the entrance porch of the church on Main Road.

The blue and gold clock was used by the villagers and local workforce to keep their timepieces regulated at home.

The clock above the door at St Matthew's Church, Renishaw, Sheffield is the focus of a World War One memorial project

As they passed by, people would have pulled out a pocket watch and checked the time to maybe clock on at work at the mines, steelworks or railways in particular.

It was installed in 1919 and bought by subscriptions raised by local people as a means of commemorating the dead of World War One.

The memorial project said that this clock represents more to the community today than they realise.

“In the 100 years since it was installed, the local history and heritage of the area has changed dramatically around Renishaw and Spinkhill,” said a spokesman.

The church clock at St Matthew's Church, Renishaw, Sheffield, which is the focus of a World War One memorial project

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“To make this more representative and relevant to today’s society and younger people, we aim to retell the story of the timepiece from 1919 to 2019 and the changes it represents.

“Thanks to National Lottery players, the project aims to deliver a number of activities linked to the local community

“The restoration and updating of the clock in the first instance and making it easier to operate is paramount. Ageing populations and likewise church congregations make the maintenance and operating of the clock difficult (a 15ft climb on a ladder to reach the housing in the first instance!).”

Restoration work on the church clock at St Matthew's Church, Renishaw, Sheffield, which is the focus of a World War One memorial project

Young and older people will work together to discover the significant issues of the time since its installation by collecting or recording 20 stories that reflect local residents’ recollections.

A celebratory pamphlet and exhibition about the clock’s history will be produced at the end of the project in August 2023.

Rev Michael Guest, of St Matthew’s. said: “We’re delighted that we’ve received this support thanks to National Lottery players.

“The church clock at St Matthew’s is an important part of the village heritage. It’s great to know that we are a step closer to conserving it for future generations and our community.”