Our Church of St Leonard in the village of Wortley, South Yorkshire is an active Church of England place of worship. We have in recent years consulted with the local community on the future role the church building could play as it changes to serve the needs of the Parish and its people.
One of the outcomes of the consultation was the formation of a Friends of St Leonard's group, which has become known as "Len's Friends."
Len's Friends are helping find more uses for the church building and providing regular social events. St Leonard's is part of the heritage of Wortley village and generations of village tenants and residents have engaged with the church emotionally as a result of its ecclesiastical purpose. When family members have passed away the churchyards have been their place of burial since 1650.
The records and family history is recorded on the many gravestones and monuments in the churchyards. The inscriptions and stones cannot last forever. Researching the history of those interred requires a visit to the site and quite a long time spent searching the gravestones for the correct grave. People interested in Genealogy find it difficult to find graves and records of the churchyards at Wortley. Once the physical monument has eroded, it is impossible.
Len's Friends have set up this Crowdfunder page to raise funds for the survey to create the digital interactive map. Once this is completed the families, the community and anyone with an interest in history can assist with photographing every headstone and transcribing the words on the stone to the digital map system.
The outcomes for our project are:
Allows users to find information in the historical burial records for community, heritage and cultural projects, and for personal family tree research.
No time is wasted searching the churchyards, the information is online along with the maps.
It protects our heritage for the future.
History groups and heritage groups will find the information invaluable.
Local people can become involved with the fact finding and photographing of the memorials and obtain individual fact sheets.
Through Len's Friends the people of Wortley Parish and worldwide can find the information about their ancestors.
Please support our project to provide a permanent searchable record of the churchyard of St Leonard's Church.
Len's Friends and the PCC.