Thursday, 25 March 2010

St James' Church, Baildon

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.


  1. How extraordinary. Only the other day I was driving along the road into Shipley and I suddenly thought "I am sure there used to be a little wooden church somewhere here". But I couldn't spot it and put it down to the fact that I had been concentrating on the road a little too much. But they have moved it again. Extraordinary.
    Getting back to our discussions about blogging - you really must carry on with the blog but perhaps expand its horizons. Don't change the format : you do the combination of great photograph and factually fascinating description so well.

  2. Such a pretty church! And what an interesting history!

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  4. It looks lovely and the roof is so pretty! I'm glad it was restored. I would love to see the inside!

  5. Alan, the church hasn't moved far, but it's less noticeable now as it isn't alone in the middle of a field, but is surrounded by houses.
    And thanks for your wise thoughts on blogging. I think you're right, perhaps keep the same format and even the title but just give myself permission to post more pictures from further afield.
    Lois, I'd love to look inside too. It was Sunday and there was a service going on but you can hardly barge in and start taking photos in the middle of a service! And I expect much of the time, it's locked. But if I find a chance to peep in I will.

  6. Definitely don't gve up on the blog! I enjoy reading it so much :)

  7. Beautifully quaint church. I'm always relieved to hear that historical buildings are restored rather than replaced, which has happened to much of Salem.


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