PLACES of worship in the Bradford district are among those to have received a share of £42m over the past year.

The Listed Places of Worship Grant Scheme, from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, supports the protection of religious buildings, representing all faiths and denominations.

Arts and Heritage Minister, Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay, highlighted the huge role places of worship play in communities.

He said: “As churches across the country fill up for Nativity plays and Christmas services, it’s a reminder of the huge role that they and other places of worship play in the lives of their community.

“The Listed Places of Worship Scheme supports these precious buildings, which are cherished by people of all faiths and none.

“With nearly 5,000 supported over the past year alone, I’m glad to see the difference it has made to visitors, worshippers, and the people who look after them for the benefit of future generations.”

One of those to benefit in Bradford is St Stephen’s Church, in West Bowling.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Reverend Jimmy HintonReverend Jimmy Hinton (Image: Newsquest)

As well as being a place of worship, it also acts as a hub for the community which it sits at the heart of.

Sarah Hinton, from St Stephen's, said: “Our church building is used all day every day for activities to help the community, as well as for worship.

“As a Listed Building, repairs can be very costly and we are very grateful for the help we received from the Department through this scheme.”

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: St Stephen's, West BowlingSt Stephen's, West Bowling (Image: Newsquest)

The church was awarded more than £20,000.

Another beneficiary was St Joseph’s Catholic Church, off Manchester Road, which received more than £43,000.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: St Joseph'sSt Joseph's (Image: Newsquest)

Speaking in November 2021, Reverend Father Christopher Angel, who has since moved onto the Skipton St Stephen’s Parish, spoke of how the church needed a great deal of work.

Speaking about the importance of the church, he said: "St Joseph's has been here for 135 years and so many generations of people have memories of weddings, baptisms, or other events in this place.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Janet McCarron at St Joseph's Catholicn ChurchJanet McCarron at St Joseph's Catholicn Church (Image: Newsquest)

"These buildings are important to Bradford culturally. It was built by an Irish labour force that came here at the time, so it's also important to history of Bradford.

“While mills and other buildings around it have closed over the years, the church has stayed still."

Grants of varying amounts have been awarded to churches across Bradford and the wider district, including in Keighley, Shipley, Ilkley, and further afield in Skipton, totalling at least £170,000.