St Peter’s Church, Hoyland: The Church on the Hill

St Peter’s, Hoyland is a meticulously maintained Grade II listed church built in 1830 by Watson, Pritchett and Watson. The original light and lofty rectangular Low Church box survives but the interior had to be reordered due to severe mining subsidence, most recently in the 1990s.

This church is a great example of how an inventive transformation of the interior has ensured the building is wholly fit for purpose for the future. A quirky vaulted ceiling has been installed to conceal the steel corseting of 1924. At the same time a coffee hub has been formed under the rear gallery and the gallery itself has been turned into a meeting-room, separated from the nave by glass partitions. The result is characterful , endearing and well worth a visit!

St Peter’s is home to a Keates organ, dating from 1852. In 2013, organ builders MC Thompson advised that major restoration work was required to ensure the organ’s future. The churchwardens applied to the YHCT for funding towards the improvement works, however, when the organ was removed it was discovered the floor underneath had collapsed due to woodworm and damp. Urgent floor repairs were therefore also needed to ensure the safety of the organ.

Thanks to the hard work of the Development Worker and churchwarden, a successful fundraising drive was embarked upon. The YHCT awarded the church £3000 and along with other grant bodies and a sum of money raised by the church itself, sufficient funding was received for the vital floor repair works and improvements to the organ to take place.

This project was a large investment for the church but it has ensured that similar work will not need repeating on a frequent basis. The improvements have ensured the continuation of traditional organ music at St Peter’s, in a building that has been conserved for future generations to enjoy.