Saint John the Baptist, Coley


History of the Church

The Church of St John the Baptist, Coley stands on a site which is 688 ft above sea level.

Coley Chapel House stood nearby.

In 1513, a group of local men took an acre of land from the lord of the manor for the construction of a church. There was a disagreement between the men and John Rishworth, and the land was returned to the lord of the manor for Rishworth's use.

Rishworth then gave ¼ of an acre for a church. The new Church opened as Coley Chapel in 1529. This was a simple cell measuring 84 ft by 4000 ft.

Richard Northend was the first recorded Vicar [1530].

In 1550, the endowment was confiscated and the Church was closed for some years.

The Church was enlarged around 1631 when Rev Richard Denton was Curate.

It was extensively repaired and reconstructed around 1711 when Rev Nathan Sharpe was Curate. The arms of Queen Anne were installed to commemorate the work. There are plaques recording these and other alterations.

The present building was constructed in 1816-1818 by William Bradley. On 26th February 1816, the first stone was laid for a new Church. Mr Rhodes was involved in the construction of the Church

The burial ground opposite dates from 1842.

In 1855, Michael Stocks built a day school for the Church. The school closed in 1876.

In 1901/1902, the Church was restored and altered by Charles Hodgson Fowler.

In 1938, to celebrate his 90th birthday, Samuel Watkinson paid for installation of electric lights at the Church.

In 1951, the panelling and doors of the choir screen were installed in memory of J. H. Fletcher

When Saint George's Church, Norwood Green closed on 3rd November 2002, the congregation moved to St John's at Coley, which is now described as St John the Baptist serving Coley & Norwood Green

Features of the Church

See Coley Church Cricket Team, Coley Vicarage, Captain John Hodgson, John Northend, The Northowram Nonconformist Register, John Riley, Ryshworth's Chapel, Hipperholme, St John the Baptist, Coley: War Memorial, St John the Baptist, Coley: Graveyard, St John the Baptist, Coley: Publications, St Matthew's Mission Church, Coley and Watkinson Almshouses, Lightcliffe

Transcriptions of the Parish Registers are shown in the CD entitled Parish Registers: Saint John the Baptist, Coley

© Malcolm Bull 2021
Revised 12:32 / 17th May 2021 / 9450

Page Ref: QQ_120

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