New life for old Sheffield chapel

The pillared Nonconformist Chapel, in the General Cemetery, Sharrow, Sheffield.
The pillared Nonconformist Chapel, in the General Cemetery, Sharrow, Sheffield.
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A crumbling cemetery building will be brought back to life after a conservation group’s prayers were answered.

Sheffield General Cemetery Trust is celebrating after securing capital funding for a project to restore the Nonconformist Chapel to its former glory.

The Grade II-listed building, which stands in the centre of the Sharrow graveyard, has fallen into disrepair since its closure in the 1970s.

Now cash from the Architectural Heritage Fund, Sheffield Council and the Waste Recycling Environment Ltd will be used to transform the at-risk building into a community arts venue.

Coun Isobel Bowler, Sheffield Council cabinet member for culture, said: “Many congratulations to the cemetery trust for securing this major grant funding.

“I am delighted this special building will prevented from deteriorating further and restored back into use.

“Sheffield General Cemetery is a hidden gem in the city and once restored this building will encourage more people to come and visit it.”

The Nonconformist, or Dissenters’, Chapel was designed by Sheffield architect Samuel Worth and opened in 1836.

With its classical style and Egyptian influence, it is considered an architectural gem and is ranked in the top six per cent of the most important listed buildings in England.

Ian Lush, of the Architectural Heritage Fund, said: “Pre-Victorian cemeteries are an important part of our social history as well as having the potential to provide significant community facilities.

“The grant will help the trust to restore this important chapel and give it a sustainable and viable future for the people of Sheffield.”

Work is expected to cost around £260,000, after which the chapel will provide a space for art exhibitions, music performances and community events.

Project leaders have been in talks with the Tramlines and Off the Shelf festivals about using the venue.