It’s possible that your wedding will have to take place in the chancel or another church’. This was not the news I wanted to hear in the last meeting with the Vicar before my wedding. Ceiling plaster had started to fall within the Nave and an inspection was due to be carried out shortly.

Fast forward two years and I find myself part of a working group scoping the repairs to the church and investigating additional elements, for example level access to the building, that would not impact on the historical significance of the building but would allow more people to enjoy and celebrate it.

St Andrew’s is a Grade I listed building. There is a record of a church in Kildwick in the Domesday Book, one of only two in Craven at the time, and fragments of stone crosses found at the site point to a possible mid-10th century origin. The present nave and aisles date largely from the early 14th century. During the 15th and 16th centuries the church was lengthened eastwards. The church was last reordered in 1901–3 and has not significantly changed since that time.

Currently work is focussing on repairing the roof and ceiling plaster. These essential repairs are costly. We have already been successful in securing a grant from The Headley Trust and are in the process of applying for other grants. But this is not enough! We need to raise lots more and you can help. Please support our fundraising events, and sign up to ‘Give as you Live’ to raise money for us whilst doing your online shopping.

We’ll keep you posted on progress in The Bridge and online. If you have any ideas for raising money please get in touch with the group via

Louise Brown is an archaeologist who lives in Kildwick. She is currently the Historic Nidderdale Project Officer for the Heritage Lottery funded Upper Nidderdale Landscape Partnership and holds an Honorary Research Fellowship at the University of Bradford.