Sunday, 21 February 2010

St Paul's Church, Shipley

Just up the valley side from Saltaire is the Anglican Parish Church of St Paul. The two churches in Saltaire itself are both non-conformist (Saltaire United Reformed Church and Saltaire Methodist Church). St Paul's Church, Shipley was built in 1826, predating Titus Salt's mill (1853) by more than 25 years. It was built to serve the township of Shipley and is sited just outside Shipley town centre. The eastern half of the village of Saltaire is within its parish. (For those not familiar with the system of the Church of England, England is divided up into small geographical areas known as parishes, so that every house in the country is within a local parish.)

The church is one of over 600 "Waterloo Churches" built in the early 19th century by a special government commission, with funds from the Church Buildings Act 1818. £1 million (£57.6 million in today's money) was invested in building churches, in thanks for victory in the Battle of Waterloo which ended the Napoleonic Wars in 1815. (Though some say it was mainly designed as a measure to curb the spread of radical and dissenting non-conformist churches. That obviously didn't really work round here!) Designed by J Oates of Halifax, the building is Grade II listed, and has been sensitively re-ordered inside to make it more conducive to modern Christian worship.

(Grr! Just upgraded my web browser and it's causing me all sorts of problems with the font on here. Sorry if it looks a bit different now.)


3 comments:

  1. Imposing stone church; looks like it speaks to all those northern virtues of strength and solidity.

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  2. It is an impressive looking church. The bell tower almost looks too big for the rest of building.

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  3. Yeah but it's a massive sacrilege that they "re-organised" the upper and lower burial grounds in the 70's which basically means that they removed all the tomb stones and turned it into gardens, meaning that now I can't go to see where my ancestors were buried (I found a massive ancestral edifice in the lower burial ground when I was about 11 years old - but now it has gone - who knows where).

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