I left the canal towpath at Buck Hill and walked down the hillside, across the River Aire by a footbridge and up the other side of the valley into Baildon. St James' Church is on the edge of the sprawling housing development that is Baildon these days. The attractive little church has an interesting history....
It was built in 1892 in Great Warley, Essex by the rector, the Rev Bailey, at his own expense. When he retired, he arranged to have it moved to his birthplace of Baildon - but sadly did not live to see it erected there in 1905. The church is linked to the Parish Church of St John the Evangelist in Baildon. It is a wooden building with a pantiled roof and, over time, the wood began to deteriorate. The only way the congregation could afford its thorough restoration (it is a Grade II listed building) was to move it again, to a corner of the ground it originally occupied and sell off some of the land for housing. It has been restored using long-lasting cedar wood (no moths in there then!), improved and brightened inside, with a new floor and eco-friendly heating. It now sits in an attractive 'Biblical' garden.
During the dismantling and restoration process, Denso Marston Ltd (whose factory, making cooling systems for cars and trucks, is across the road) once again came to the rescue (see Monday's post) and allowed the congregation to worship in their boardroom. Hooray for a community-minded company!
For further information on the church's history, and on other historic buildings in Baildon, see this link.