Leeds Vineyard

Frequently Asked Questions 

(Updated March 2023)

Vision and Mission 

What is the vision for Vineyard House?
Leeds Vineyard has a vision to see this 140 year-old iconic Headingley building restored and put to use for another 140 years feeding the hungry and serving the community. 


What is the mission for Vineyard House?

Our mission is to acknowledge the 140-year heritage we have received and re-establish Vineyard House as a famous building bringing life, light, music and hospitality to the Headingley community. For rooms to echo with the joyful sounds of young people and children, of music being played and art created - for the building to radiate warmth for those seeking support and help. A venue where Christian compassion finds full expression; a place where the stranger is welcome, where anyone can pray, where the lonely and vulnerable will feel safe, where the hungry are fed and the community is served.

Will Leeds Vineyard move from Headingley Methodist Church?
Almost certainly not, whilst our friends at Headingley Methodist Church continue to welcome us, Leeds Vineyard will continue to meet at Headingley Methodist Church for Sunday Gatherings for the foreseeable future. 


About the building


What is the history of the building?
Vineyard House was originally a Parochial Institute for nearby St Michael's Church. It was built in 1883 and was designed by the architect George Corson, who was also responsible for The Grand Theatre in Leeds, and the Leeds General Infirmary. Click here to find out more about the history of the building.

Is the building listed?
Vineyard House is a Grade 2 listed building. It is an iconic building with lots of original features which we plan to carefully restore. 

What work is needed transform the building?
Whilst a good portion of the downstairs space is in good condition, the rest of the building is in need of serious repair. Our plan is to restore and renovate this famous old Headingley building, and for it to once again be a space which serves the local community and of which the community can be proud.

Building Restoration

Where is the project up to?
By February 2020 the Project Team had reached the point where a bid for Development Funding was about to be made which, if successful would have triggered the phase involving going out to tender for the works than needed doing.

As a result of the lockdowns and restrictions during the pandemic in 2020 and into 2021 the team were forced to put the plan on hold. At the outset the hope was that the project would re-commence after a few months but it soon became clear that this was not going to be possible.

During 2020-2021 various teams of volunteers attended to basic maintenance and the garden at the rear of the property.

In June 2021 the Project Team was been reformed and the plan re-started. We have had to take a few steps back in the process and are currently marshalling a wider team of professional advisers and consultants to guide us forwards.

In June 2022 we welcomed "Brian". Brian is a cartoon figure which represents all of us who can bring something to Vineyard House, small or large: skills, time, energy, resources or money.

Over the following months several people gave sacrificially in time and energy to repair, redecorate and refresh the parts of the building we can use. A lot of rubbish has been disposed of (there's more to go), partitions removed, walls and skirtings have been painted and floors re-covered. 

The two local charities who use Vineyard House as their base moved to the side of the building with windows and their old rooms will be re-purposed: one as a Food Pantry and one as a new (temporary) kitchen. 

Who is on the Project Team?
David Flowers, one of the Senior Pastors chairs the project;
Liz Harden, one the Assistant Pastors is the team leader and coordinator;
William Sims represents the board of trustees of the church;
Anne Button, the Executive Assistant Pastor oversees the finances and business plan;
Mark Burgess, a retired architect and town planner for Leeds City Council, looks after the fabric and security of the building;
Anthony Pollard, a QS and project manager brings current experience and expertise to the building renovation issues;
Jon Grayson is a Project Manager at G4S (and also serves as a trustee of the church) and oversees the Refresh Project;
Stephen Dixon is our Architect.

How much will it cost?
The full cost of the restoration of Vineyard House was originally quoted at being in the region of £2-3m (building costs have risen substantially in recent years so that amount will certainly rise). This includes: rebuilding the annex, re-modelling the interior, lifting the roof and adding a protective membrane. It will also involve making the building as environmentally friendly as possible and as accessible as possible. There's a lot to be done! 

How long will it take?
Projects such as these inevitably take time if they are to be done well. Our vision is for Vineyard House to serve the community for another 140 years and so this restoration needs to be done well. However, the impact of the pandemic has curtailed our original plans. So currently, the intention is to:

  1. Repair, redecorate and repair the usable parts ourselves as much as possible (thankyou "Brian");
  2. Much has been done - fitting a new (temporary) kitchen and fitting exterior lighting are next on the list;
  3. Maximise the use of the building as it stands.

Subsequently there will be several main phases to the project:

  1. Preparing a viability report and a development plan;
  2. Submitting applications to funding organisations, raising funds ourselves;
  3. Once funding has been secured, tendering for the work that needs to be done;
  4. Doing the building and restoration work - which in itself will break down into various phases;
  5. Vineyard House fully open and operational!

Find Out More

How can I share my views?

We want to be great neighbours and hear your thoughts on our plans for Vineyard House.  If you could complete our online questionnaire we would really appreciate hearing what you think.

How can I get involved? 
There are various ways you can get involved in Vineyard House: through giving; praying and joining the "Brian" refresh team. Click here to find out more. 

How can I get in touch? 
If you have any thoughts or questions, please do get in touch by emailing office@leedsvineyard.org 


Timeline so far and plans for the future

Updated in August 2021:

May 2017 Heads of Terms are agreed for the purchase of Vineyard House (formerly known as St Michael's Hall) 
Summer 2017 The people of Leeds Vineyard give sacrificially
September 2018 A mortgage is finalised, and contracts for the building are exchanged
December 2018 We complete on the purchase and get the keys
January 2019 Work is completed to make safe the downstairs of the building and a prayer room is established
Early 2019 We begin working with a Stephen Dixon of Calls Architecture to help us come up with outline designs for the refurbishment of Vineyard House
Easter 2019 We submit a pre-planning application and engage the local community with a series of "Come and See" opportunities to visit Vineyard House. The response from the local community was overwhelmingly positive and supportive.
May 2019 The people of Leeds Vineyard give once again - Sowing for a Harvest
Summer 2019    Leeds Vineyard move the church offices into Vineyard House
September 2019 After further refinement and revisions to our plans from the feedback received from the local community and the planning team at leads council, we submit our formal planning application
Autumn 2019 We are successful in our application for an Awards for All grant to carry out a full funding feasibility study and wider community consultation exercise. We begin work with FutureKraft on strengthening the Case for Support.
December 2019 Our application for Planning Permission is successful.
The Business Plan is finalised, and we continue putting together the schedule of works and plans for Phase 1
January 2020 Funding Strategy for Phase 1 finalised and framework for telling story of Vineyard House to funders completed.
March 2020 Vineyard House Restoration Project put on hold as a result of lockdowns and restrictions following the COVID-19 pandemic. 
2020 The "Refresh" team of volunteers work in Vineyard House and in the garden - cleaning, tidying, maintaining.
March 2021 We discovered damage to the ventilators on the roof and carried out a formal survey to gauge the repair needed.
2nd half of 2021 Preparing a viability report and a development plan.
Beginning of 2022 Initial development plan applications were unsuccessful so a different approach commenced (Brian).
2nd half of 2022 Much repair, redecorating and refreshing of the building.
New and additional users:
  • Youth groups
  • Band rehearsals
  • NHS meetings
  • An independent church hire
  • Food pantry
  • Mental health services
March 2023  STEPS 2023 to raise funds to pay down the mortgage
Future  Raising funds in order to do the full building and restoration work.
Future Vineyard House fully open and operational!