Founded in 1855, St Matthew’s Church Carver Street in the City Centre of Sheffield rose to prominence during the 54 year long incumbency of the famous slum priest Fr George Campbell Ommanney -Vicar 1882-1936. The church has now launched its £700,000 ‘Regenerate’ fundraising campaign to which seeks to restore and renew the nave of the church and make necessary alterations for its future mission, ministry and community use.

On Sunday 5th September over 100 people gathered in Sheffield to hear from representatives of the parish, architect Ulrike Knox and Dr Cathy Wilcox author, congregant, and patron – pen name Catherine Fox – as they shared the plans behind the proposed work. The parish intends to improve access, renew the flooring, improve its facilities for hospitality, increase flexibility to the seating in the church through the use of new benches, introduce glazed-in spaces to the west end and finally restore the chancel flooring and the noteworthy arts and crafts stalls.

On Thursday 9th September over 100 guests were hosted by Mr Neil Logan-Green at The Travellers Club, Pall Mall along with the Bishops of Sheffield, Beverley, Burnley, and Fulham. The Lord Mayor of Sheffield, Cllr Gail Smith spoke movingly of her support for the campaign and the commended the role of Parish Nurses who work amongst the most vulnerable in the city. The Bishop of Sheffield, the Rt Rev’d Pete Wilcox in concluding his speech added: “it is because I sincerely believe this project will enhance and enrich the worship of God and the mission of God in heart of the city of Sheffield that I commend it to you without reservation.” Over £21,000 was pledged on the night.

Fr Grant Naylor, Vicar, commented: “The past week has witnessed a wonderful start to our fundraising campaign and I would like to say a huge thank you to those who have contributed. Since the launch we have now raised £41,000, but there is a long way to go and the hard work starts now. St Matthew’s has always been a centre of worship, mission and blessing in Sheffield, acting as a centre for all those who are in need. Our work here is vital and I am supported by the most amazing team. We entrust this campaign to Our Lord and to the prayers of the saints.”

Photographs credit Dr Stuart Barfield:

1. Cllr Gail Smith, Lord Mayor of Sheffield celebrates the role of the church and of the parish nurses in the city centre

2. Fr Naylor, Vicar of Carver Street addresses those assembled for the London fundraiser

3. Architect’s view of how the church will look following the installation of a new floor