Christ Church, Sowerby Bridge


General history of the Church

Christ Church, Sowerby Bridge stands on Wharf Street.

It is Sowerby Bridge Parish Church, aka the Episcopal Chapel.

As the population of Sowerby Bridge grew, there was a need for a larger Church to replace the Old Brigg Chapel. In 1803, Rev James Franks started efforts to build a new Church.

In 1819, John Oates designed the present Church to replace the original Old Brig Chapel. This was built on land bought from Timothy Bates and James Goodhall.

The foundation stone for the present Church was laid by Thomas Dyson on 24th April 1819. The cost was £6,812 which was raised by subscription.

There is a small communion table dated 1520 from the original Church.

It opened on 24th May 1821 and was consecrated in 1824.

The organ was opened in 1825. When the organ at Warley Congregational Church was dismantled in the late 1970s, three ranks of pipes from Warley were incorporated into the organ of Christ Church.

By 1828, the roof was found to be unsafe. This was extensively repaired and the Church opened in August 1830.

In 1839, the clock was added.

In 1857, the Church was repaired at a cost of £3,000.

In 1866, the bells and the organ were installed. Details of the organ in the Church can be found in the National Pipe Organ Register.

In 1873, the Church was extended and a chancel was added, replacing an earlier apse. It accommodated 1,200 worshippers [1874].

In 1889, a new vestry was built at the south door.

On 4th February 1894, the Church was damaged by fire following one of Rev Ivens's Men's Services. The organ, chancel and the roof were gutted, and fireman Jonathan Coulston was killed.

The restored Church was re-dedicated on 2nd February 1895.

In 199?, the organ from Bolton Brow Methodist Chapel, Sowerby Bridge was installed and converted to electric-power.

In 1935, Percy Carter gave a chancel screen to the Church.

In October 2007, the Church received £41,000 from the Department of Farming & Rural Affairs. This was to be used to repair the stained-glass windows at the Church. The money was an attempt to reduce the impact [??] of aggregate removal at Marsh Quarry.

The records for the Church are held at the West Yorkshire Archive Service office in Wakefield (Collection WDP93): Baptisms [1709-1949], Banns [1895-1991], Marriages [1730-1994] and Burials [1821-1986].

Churchwardens at the Church

See The Bache, Warley, Christ Church Friday Evening Bible Class, Christ Church, Sowerby Bridge: Graveyard, Christ Church, Sowerby Bridge: War Memorial, Christ Church Sunday School, Sowerby Bridge, Henry Gaukroger, Sowerby Bridge Vicarage and James Whitaker

© Malcolm Bull 2023
Revised 10:45 / 29th July 2023 / 7065

Page Ref: KK_86

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