A PENISTONE church will benefit to the tune of £9,000 to help with vital repairs and maintenance to its roof following a lead theft six years ago.

The funding - which has been handed to St John the Baptist Church - comes from the Yorkshire Historic Churches Trust (YHCT), a charity that helps preserve and repair buildings through offering grants for repairs and maintenance.

The Grade I-listed building in desperate need of a new roof following lead theft in 2018.

The nave of the church has been protected with a temporary covering which is starting to deteriorate.

St John’s claims to be the ‘cradle of the modern game of association football’, having had a significant effect on the development of the game in Sheffield.

Many of those associated with the early development of the game are either buried at St John’s or have links to family buried in the graveyard, including John Charles Shaw, the first captain of Sheffield Football Club - the world’s oldest existing club.

Rev David Hopkin, from the church, said: “This is extensively used by members of our community, hosting a range of activities and events including an annual art sale (Art at the Altar) and a beer festival in the Nave.

“The church really is a community hub and focus for both joyful and sad occasions.

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“We hope to be able to secure its future by fixing its roof and protect its medieval structures and Tudor ceiling.”

Tom Ramsden, chairman of the YHCT, added: “Yorkshire is home to many of the most important churches in the United Kingdom.

“They dominate the landscape, they are vital to the life of many communities, and they are full of the treasures of our heritage.

“Trustees were delighted to award funding to such a wide range of churches from all across the region and are delighted to help these much loved places of worship secure their future for generations to come.”