St. Barnabas, Crosland Moor

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Details

  • also known as: Crosland Moor Parish Church
  • location: between Park Road & Church Avenue, Crosland Moor
  • status: still exists
  • category: church or chapel

Extracts

The History of Lockwood and North Crosland (1980) by Brian Clarke:

The parish and church of St. Barnabas are outstanding on two counts, firstly on account of the very large sum of money given to endow the parish and secondly on the length of time taken to complete the building of the church.

The church, now standing opposite David Brown’s factory, is really the second parish church in the area. In the early 1870’s this part of Lockwood Township was in the parish of Rashcliffe and Rashcliffe Church built a small school and Mission Church on Park Road. This building, completed in 1874, can still be seen, complete with a small bell tower (but minus bell) at the corner of College Street and Park Road. In March 1897 this small church became the centre of the newly created parish of Crosland Moor, being formed out of parts of Lockwood, Milnsbridge and Rashcliffe parishes. It was at this time that an anonymous gift of £10,000 (today’s value approx. £170,000) was given to endow the living and to provide a vicarage, but expressly forbidding its use for financing a new church. It is now believed that this sum was given by Mr. W. Brooke of Honley. With this large sum at its disposal, the parish was not extravagant in the provision of a vicarage for the original one was at 32, College Street and although the purchase price is not recorded, would not have cost more than £300.

The population of the parish in 1897 was 2,400 but this figure was increasing fairly fast as housing development spread up from the valley and so it was felt that a larger church was needed to replace the Mission Church. However, as yet there wasn’t even enough money to build a dog kennel, in fact a debt of £170 still remained on the Mission with an annual loss of £25 on upkeep. However, the parishioners were not daunted and in 1898 a Building Committee was formed, soon to be encouraged by a donation of £1,000 from Sir John Crosland. A ‘Sale of Work’ raised £231, clearing the Mission Church debt and so a search was on for a suitable site for a new church.

Originally, a site near the Mission Church was considered but negotiations fell through and eventually, in October 1898, a plot at the junction of May Street and Park Road was purchased for £1,263. By 1899 almost £5,000 stood to the credit of the Building Fund and the services of an architect, Mr. Hodgson Fowler, were retained to design a church with a cost of £10,000 in mind. Mr. Fowler had previously designed Marsden Parish Church and later went on to be architect of Lincoln Cathedral. A promise of £1,000 was received from the Church Building Society on condition that the seating should accommodate 700 and that the Chancel should be the first section to be completed.

Various plans were drawn up and various amendments made. Originally, the roof was to be of equal height throughout but an amendment led to the addition of a clerestory to the Nave. The final plans show the church as it was built, with one important exception; a fine 25’ square tower surmounted by a spire.

Little by little the money was collected, including another anonymous gift of £1,500 and on 17th January 1900 the final decision to commence building was taken but, due to the estimated cost of £2,424, the building of the tower and the two west porches was deferred. The 4th August 1900 was the day upon which the Bishop of Wakefield performed the stone laying ceremony, assisted by Sir J. Crosland and Sir T. Brooke.

The beginning of 1901 saw £3,000 still being required to clear the building cost, or £5,500 if the tower was to be built, yet in the month following the Foundation Ceremony the fund had increased by just 14 shillings (70p.).

Gradually the church took shape and with the help of a loan of £750 the contractors were paid and furnishings obtained, although most of the furnishings were free gifts from the people of Crosland Moor. Finally, all was ready and on 4th October 1902 the building was consecrated by the Bishop of Wakefield.

All was ready but not all was finished for the tower was not yet built and, as a temporary measure, the bell was hung on the west wall, protected by a simple wooden canopy and in this obviously unfinished state the church remained for many years.

In 1950 the church inherited a sizeable sum of money and it was decided to investigate the possibility of building the tower and completing the church. Alas, with the passage of time the £2,500 figure of 1901 had now risen to over £30,000. Not able to afford this figure, a compromise was reached and a slim extension, with west window, all in a matching style, was built and consecrated on 2nd July 1958, thereby finally completing the building.

The Vicarage in College Street gave way in 1905 to ‘Moor Lea’ in Thornton Road (Blackmoorfoot Road today). In 1936 the present Vicarage, built alongside the church, was completed.

The church choir had been formed in the old Mission Church, originally including ladies. However, the ladies retired from the choir in 1897 in favour of men and boys. What provided the musical accompaniment here and in the new church is not recorded until 1907 when the purchase of a second-hand organ was to be investigated. Somehow, money was found for a new Conacher organ which was installed in 1908.

The old church in College Street, apart from being a day school, continued to serve as a Sunday School and Parish Hall. A new Parish Hall was built opposite the church in De Trafford Street in 1961 and later enlarged. The tennis club, formed in 1935, originally had courts in Yews Hill Road but new courts were built alongside the new hall, however, in 1977 this land was taken over by David Browns as a car park

Following the building of the new Church School on Dryclough Road the old Mission Church and School was sold in 1969 to become once again a church, now for the Seventh Day Adventists.

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