Church Throws Open its Doors

After a long period of conservation and restoration works, the church of St John’s, Sharow is opening its doors to the public once again. For months, the church was shrouded by inside and out as contractors and conservators worked on stained glass, wall paintings and the construction of new, modern facilities. Now, nearly half a…

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Vision Project Update II

It is now necessary to visit the site daily to keep up with how quickly things are changing; windows come and go; the stonework rises around our new kitchen and toilet facilities; scaffolding appears by windows and the conservators are taking the first samples for the paintwork restoration. Whew! I have been cycling up most…

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David Winpenny’s Article on Piazzi Smyth

David Winpenny, Chairman of Ripon Civic Society, looks at the life and preoccupations of a former Ripon resident whose scientific work and idiosyncratic ideas appear to have been rather at odds with each other. At the bottom of Clotherholme Road, not far from its junction with Studley Road, is a large but reticent Victorian House…

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Heritage Work

Our Heritage Open Day

Running a Heritage Open Day at a rural church is a bit of a double-edged sword. After all, we were up against local competition such as the UNESCO World Heritage Site at Fountains and the city centre attractions of Ripon Museums. That said, I was delighted by the turnout and the amount of help proffered…

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The Builders Move In…

The current vogue, we are told, is for homeowners to fund an extension or convert lofts and basements rather than go to the expense of moving. Such measures, grand as the are – pale in comparison to the changes which are transforming St John’s, Sharow, in to a church that meets the needs of the…

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Traditional Technique Provides Cutting Edge for Emma

St John’s is teaming up with Emma Gillon, a local estates manager, to return the venerable art of scything to the landscape. Inspired by a recent scything workshop at St John’s, Sharow, Emma will be replacing much of her petrol-powered mowing equipment with elbow grease and the trusty scythe. Emma says, “I love using the…

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St John’s gains Eco Church Status

St John’s, Sharow becomes only the fifth church in the Diocese of Leeds to gain an Eco Church Award. The news comes at the end of the church’s Cherishing Our Churchyard Week, which saw local schools and charities assisting with biodiversity surveys, moth captures and churchyard trails. The award was presented by Jemima Parker, Diocesan…

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Cherishing our Church

It is an exciting time to be working at St John’s. With a new parish priest waiting in the wings, exciting new bits of the building about to appear and the promise of yet more cake, it is bound to be a busy few months! It is fantastic to see our building evolving, becoming more…

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Researching Charles Piazzi Smyth

Charles Piazzi Smyth has to be one of the most interesting characters I’ve ever had the privilege to research. A pioneering astronomer, photographer, Egyptologist and, in the words of Sir Flinders Petrie, a ‘Pyramidiot’. Researching into Piazzi Smyth has been easy, thanks to the wonderful work of David Winpenny of Ripon Civic Society. After half an…

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Starting out as a Heritage Learning Officer

About time I introduced myself: I’m Joe and I’m Sharow’s Heritage Learning Officer. I’ll be updating you on my goings-on in regular (I hope) blog posts. For now, here is my written piece for Roundabout magazine: Hello, I’m Joe. Whilst a very recent graduate in History & Archaeology at the University of Sheffield, I’ve been extremely…

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