St. Hilda's Church, Cowcliffe

This page is a bare-bones entry for a specific location marked on an old map. More detailed information may eventually be added...


  • also known as: Cowcliffe Mission Church
  • location: Netheroyd Hill Road, Cowcliffe
  • status: still exists
  • category: church or chapel
  • architect: William Henry Crossland (1835-1908)

Originially built in the 1850s as a National School on land gifted by Sir John Ramsden for that purpose in the 1840s.

By the 1880s, the building was also being used as a Mission Church connected to St. John's Church. It seems the intention had been to build a separate Mission Church and the school was never officially consecrated. This oversight was eventually discovered in the early 1950s by the Rev. J.F. Lister, Vicar of St. John's Church:[1]

To many it will come as a shock to learn that he services which have been held at Cowcliffe for over 100 years have been illegal — at least as far as the celebration of the Holy Communion is concerned. It has always been a law of the Church of England that the Holy Communion must never be celebrated anywhere expect at an altar in a properly consecrated church or, in an emergency, at a sickbed, except when a licence has been issued by the Bishop.

The church was finally consecrated on 17 September 1953 by the Bishop of Pontefract. It was possibly at this point that it was given the name St. Hilda's Church.


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Notes and References

  1. "Consecration of Mission Church After 100 Years" in Yorkshire Post (18/Aug/1953).