Calls to revive redundant Sheffield church

A church in Sheffield has fallen into a state of disrepair, and one woman who has a close connection to the building, is calling for more to be done to revive it.

Tuesday, 14th August 2018, 2:42 pm
Updated Tuesday, 14th August 2018, 2:48 pm
Trinity Chapel in Woodhouse has been left redundant since services moved to the hall next door

Kate Hardcastle, 73, was born in Woodhouse and lived on Beaver Hill Road before moving away age 19, but after recently visiting the suburb she was shocked to see the state of a church in the area that holds a place in her heart.

Built in 1878, Trinity Chapel, formerly Woodhouse Wesleyan, on Chapel Street was once a hub for the community, but has been left redundant since church services moved to the former Sunday school hall next door, which is now used the Methodist Church.

The windows are smashed, the doors are boarded up and there is ivy growing on the side of Trinity Chapel in Woodhouse

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The grade two listed building was built under contract by Kate's great great grandfather's brother, Robert Hardcastle, and throughout the years has seen her grandmother become a choir mistress and her grandfather become an organist.

So, she says she feels a strong family association with the building and feels that the building should be restored to it's former glory.

She said: "The front doors are boarded up, the windows are smashed, there's ivy growing. It's in a terrible state, it's very upsetting."

"It was built for a 600 strong congregation, but the upkeep was substantial as the congregation diminished so the services were moved to the school."

Trinity Chapel in Woohouse

The building has been bought by developers, who in May 2012 submitted a planning application to build 12 apartments on the site, but this was later rejected.

Another application was lodged in December 2015, this time for eight apartments, but it was later withdrawn in 2016.

Kate says she's afraid the next move will be to tear it down as it may be deemed unsafe.

"It was a hub of society, there were fairs, amateur dramatics, but it got lost over the years," she said.

She is now calling for protection of buildings like this, as it is not yet known the future of the chapel.

She says she has no objection to the building being turned into flats as it needs to be used in order to keep it standing and to keep its character.

Kate added: "So many of Woodhouse's historic buildings were demolished in the 1960s, including some dating from the 17th century. I feel that the few that remain including the Cross Daggers pub, now also boarded up, really do need protection."

Jack Scott, cabinet member for transport and development at Sheffield City Council, said: “Our conservation and urban design team is working with the owner to develop a scheme that is more in-keeping with the building and the area.

"This could be a residential conversion that secures the long term future of this beautiful and historic church, whilst respecting its special character and appearance.”