St. Paul's, Huddersfield: The Days That Are Past, 1828-1928 was published in 1928 to commemorate the centenary of St. Paul's Church, Huddersfield.
Under the terms of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, the copyright of literary, dramatic, musical or artistic works in the United Kingdom expires at the end of the period of 70 years from the end of the calendar year in which the author dies.
All the named primary contributors to the work died prior to 1941 and, therefore, it is believed the booklet entered the Public Domain in 2011:
The page scans can also be downloaded as a PDF file.
S. PAUL'S CHURCH, HUDDERSFIELD.
The Compilation of this Book has caused me much delight and more trouble. I do not claim that it is worthy of 5. Paul's; but I have tried to make it accurate. Be merciful in your criticism of a first attempt.
Any proceeds from the Sale of this little Souvenir will be given to the Church Funds of the Parish.
May GOD'S smile give you joy of heart, and His Blessing abide continually with us in our Worship.
I heartily congratulate the Vicar and people of St. Paul's parish, Huddersfield, on the approach of their Centenary. I am only sorry I cannot take part in it myself, but I trust that much blessing will rest upon the celebrations on the passing of so important a milestone in the history of the parish.
G. R. WAKEFIELD.
"John Bull," Sunday, Nov. 23, 1828.
"Huddersfield new Church—
Thursday last being the day appointed for laying the foundation stone of a new Church to be called St. Paul's, situated in the street called the Back Green, in Huddersfield, Divine Service commenced at the Parish Church at half-past ten, when full Cathedral Service was performed. The procession moved from the Church to the site of the new structure about half-past 12, in the following order :– a band of music; the singers ; the National School Children; the Vicar, followed by about 40 Clergymen in cannonicals ; Constables and Gentlemen bearing white wands, to preserve order ; Ladies and Gentlemen ; the band of the Free Masons, and the Free Masons themselves; the Orangemen and their band closed the procession; which moved up Kirkgate, through New Street, and down Ramsden Street, to the site of the intended Church, where, after the usual prayers were gone through, the worthy Vicar made a brief, but excellent address, and the ceremony concluded by the National Anthem being sung. The day was beautifully fine, the streets through which the procession passed thronged with people, and an immense concourse assembled at the spot where the stone was laid, and on every eminence near it. The excellent Vicar of Huddersfield, the Rev. T. C. Franks, M.A., appeared much gratified by the numerous and respectable attendance of his parishioners, several of whom kept open house during the day, which was, generally speaking, a complete holiday throughout the town.
After the Ceremony, the Children of the National School, amounting to between 500 and 600, were regaled with buns and ale ; this and other contingent expenses, being defrayed by a subscription which was entered into a few days previous for that purpose.
A letter addressed to the Rev·. A. C. Ranger by the Secretary of the Ecclesiastical Commission, 6th September, 1890 :–
In compliance with the request contained in your letter of the 4th inst., I now beg leave to give you such information respecting the Church and Cure of St. Paul, Huddersfield, as I am able to gather from papers in the possession of the Ecclesiastical Commissioners.
The site of St. Paul's Church was gratuitously conveyed in May, 1830, by Sir John Ramsden, Bart., to the late Church Building Commissioners, who erected thereon, at their sole charge and at a total cost of £5,699 11s. 2d. (inclusive of £16 18s. 5d. for legal expenses) the Church of St. Paul, from designs by Mr. T. Oates, of York.
The Church then accommodated 1,243 persons, viz. : 863 on the rented seats and 380 on free seats. By an Instrument dated 9th August, 1831, and deposited in the Diocesan Registry, a Scale of Pew Rents was authorized by the Church Building Commissioners, and the whole of the proceeds, amounting to £237 18s. 0d. per annum, was assigned to the Minister of the Church, less £10 per annum for the Clerk.
The Church appears to have been consecrated in 1831.
A District Chapelry comprising a part of the Parish of Huddersfield was assigned through the medium of the Ecclesiastical Commissioners to the Church by an Order of Her Majesty in Council dated 2nd February, 1859, and published in the London Gazette on the 8th February, 1859.
The population of the District Chapelry at the date of its formation was about 5,000."
"The first stone of this Church laid November 13th, 1828. Opened June 24th, 1831.
The Rev. C. H. Lutwidge was the first Incumbent.
Mr. James Battye was the first Clerk; afterwards his twin brother, Edward Battye.
William Clay was the first Sexton.
The first Choir were Mr. Peace, Violoncello and Leader ; Mr. Harpin, of Castle Hill Side, Bass Singer ; Mr. Joseph Ellis, Tenor, of Deighton, afterwards of Peterborough Cathedral ; Mr. Blackburn, of Dalton, Alto ; Miss Dransfield, afterwards Mrs. J. Peace, Treble."
First Baptism at S. Paul's.
July 24th, 1831. Marianne, daughter of William and Herodias Sutcliffe, of Upperhead Row, Plaisterer. C. H. Lutwidge.
First Burial at S. Paul's.
July 3rd, 1831. John Thomas King, Spring Street, aged 38 years. C. H. Lutwidge.
Last Burial at S. Paul's.
Dec. 1st, 1917. James Harrop Dransfield, the Manor House, Farningham, Kent, aged 63 years (incinerated remains). A. W. Keely (Rector of Orlingbury, Northants).
Total number of Burials in S. Paul's Churchyard
First Wedding at S. Paul's.
March 16th, 1859. Tom Abraham Brown and Hannah Platts. Married by J. Haigh.
"S. Paul's became an Independant on the 2nd of August, 1866, the Vicar up to that date being the Rev. S. Holmes at the old Parish Church, Huddersfield. He went to Dorking, having exchanged with the Rev. W. B. Calvert, present Vicar of Huddersfield."
Most unfortunately there appears to be no record of these early days beyond the fact that these were the first two Vicars of the Parish, neither of whom stayed very long.
During these years there would appear to have been much activity in the Parish, as the following facts go to prove :–
In 1835 a subscription list was opened for the double purpose of obtaining an organ and providing for the salary of an organist the sums contributed amounted to £913. The organ cost was £490. With the remainder the organ house in York Place was erected. Later it was decided to borrow £800 and erect two houses instead of one. These houses were completed in 1837, and in 1839 that occupied by the Vicar was enlarged at a cost of £500.
In 1839 there was a collection after a sermon in Church for the purpose of erecting an Altar Screen, which amounted to £67. During 1840 a further sum was collected in the Parish by cards, and amounted to £79 10s. 0d.
In 1841 a big Bazaar was held which realized the very handsome sum of £1,260, and by these means the York Place Houses were paid for, together with the Organ and Altar Screen, and the Church was painted and repaired at a cost of £295.
As no Preachers' Book is extant, no particulars of Church Services are possible.
The Rev. John Haigh started his Ministry at S. Paul's on Sunday, December 22nd, 1844. In these early days there was a Communion Service once a month, and only very occasional Collections. There was no Evening Service because there was no light in the Church.
Sunday, Sept. 28th, 1849 is marked as a "Day of Humiliation in the Diocese of Ripon during the visitation of the Cholera." Then on Nov. 15th, in the same year, there was a "Day of National Thanksgiving for deliverance from the Cholera."
On April 3rd, 1853, the Rev. " W. Flower entered on the Curacy of S. Paul's."
March 8th, 1854. Aspley Mission Church opened. Cost £500.
April 26th, 1854. "Day of Humiliation on account of War. Collections for Widows and Families of Soldiers £19 3s. 0d."
Nov. 2nd, 1854. "Lighting of the Church for the first time with gas. Collection £16 8s. 6d."
Thereafter Evening Services were held in the Church.
Aug. 26th, 1855. There appears to have been trouble with the Choir, for we read — "Morn. and Afternoon, NO Choir ; but responses made and hymns sung very well by Children and Congregation. Lockwood Choir in the Evening."
Mar. 4th, 1856. "Thanksgiving Day for Peace. Collection for Huddersfield Infirmary £10."
"The Church was closed for re-pewing and other repairs after Sunday, the 15th of June, 1856, and re-opened on Thursday, Aug. 21st."
Oct. 7th, 1857. "Day of Humiliation and Prayer in consequence of the Indian Mutiny."
The Rev. J. W. Town appears to have acted as Assistant Curate from Aug., 1856, to March, 1857, and was succeeded by the Rev. Henry Wescoe, who appears to have stayed until August, 1860, and was succeeded by the Rev. H. H. Robinson, who stayed until the end of April, 1861.
On the afternoon of Sept. 5th, 1858, there is a note of some interest to the effect that there was held a "Service at Aspley" for the first time.
May 1st, 1859. "Thanksgiving Day for the Suppression of the Indian Mutiny."
1861. "The Church was closed from June 2nd to August 22nd and thoroughly painted and decorated, at a cost of between £400 and £500.
The Rev. J. Haigh took his last Service at S. Paul's on Sunday Evening, August 31st, 1862, the Collections on his last Sunday amounting to £29 6s. 0d. He afterwards became Vicar of Shirley, and died in 1890.
He was Vicar of S. Paul's for 18 years, and during his Incumbency Church Life seems to have been well maintained. In his day there was no such thing as an Early Celebration of Holy Communion the Services of the day were just Morning Prayer and Evening Prayer, with a Celebration of the Holy Communion following Morning Service once a month, when there were about 50 Communicants. There were no week-day Services, and the average number of Communicants on Easter Day was about 60.
The Rev. George G. Lawrence commenced his Ministry at S. Paul's on Sunday, Sept. 7th, 1862, taking as his text for his first Sermon i. Cor. ii. 1-3.
On Sunday, Dec. 21st, there was a "Collection for Distress in Lancashire," which amounted to £45 3s. 3d.
The Rev. S. Vaughan began his duties as Curate on Sunday, June 7th, 1863.
On Maunday Thursday, 1864, there was an Evening Communion, at which there were 27 Communicants.
The Rev. J. McCann was appointed Assistant Curate in 1864 (July).
In June and July, 1865, the "Church closed for three Sundays for repairs of organ and cleaning."
The Churchwardens at this time were Messrs. Thomas Brook and Richard Hinchcliffe.
About this time a Friday Evening Service was started, with Sermon. Also, the Holy Communion was Celebrated once a fortnight, instead of once a month, and there were Special Week-Night Services in Passion Week.
The Rev. C. M. Phelps seems to have been appointed Curate in Jan., 1868.
On July 26th, 1868. " Afternoon Service for Schools, etc., commenced."
There is a very human touch under Sept. 25th "No Sermon Evening being very wet."
April 4th, 1869. "Introduction of Surpliced Choir of boys for afternoons, etc."
June 5th, 1870. "Introduction of full Surpliced Choir."
October 9th, 1870. "Collections for the Sick and Wounded in France and Germany £20."
In 1870 the Rev. C. M. Phelps, the Curate, who seems to have done more than his share of the work, introduced the Ante-Communion Service on Saints' Days, and had an "Early Celebration of Holy Communion" on Christmas Day, at which there were 20 Communicants.
On Easter Day, April 9th, 1871, there was an 8 o'clock Celebration with 66 Communicants, and a mid-day one with 49 Communicants — a great improvement upon anything up to this date. Again, on Whit-Sunday of this year, there were Celebrations at 8 and mid-day, with Communicants numbering 89.
In June the Church was closed for three Sundays "for cleaning and painting."
On Sunday afternoon, Dec. 10th, 1871. "Special Prayer for the Prince of Wales" was offered.
The Rev. C. M. Phelps concluded his Ministry at S. Paul's on the last Sunday of this year, after having put in four years of strenuous and successful work for God.
He was succeeded by the Rev. F. G. Bussell.
The last Service conducted by the Rev. G. G. Lawrence was on Sunday night, Aug. 3rd, 1873. He must have been ill for several months, during which time the Rev. F. G. Bussell carried on the work of the Parish. Mr. Lawrence passed away at the end of May, 1874, the only Vicar of S. Paul's who died in office. On June 3rd, 1874 "The Rev. G. G. Lawrence, Vicar of S. Paul's, was buried this day at the Huddersfield Cemetery. He was for nearly 12 years Vicar of this Church, and was beloved by many and respected by all who knew him. His first Sermon in this Church was founded on i. Cor., ii 1-3, and delivered on Sept. 7th, 1862. His last Sermon was preached on Aug. 3rd, 1873, and founded on Matt. xviii., 20."
The Rev. G. G. Lawrence was succeeded by the Rev. W. Ridley, who preached his first Sermon at S. Paul's on Sunday morning, Aug. 23rd, 1874, from the text i. Kings, xxii., 34.
The Rev. S. B. Ainley was appointed Assistant Curate in December of this year. It was customary at this period to hold a Friday Evening Service, followed by an After-Meeting for special prayer. In October, 1875, there appears to have been a Parish Mission on a small scale, with daily Services for a week. The Church was closed during September, 1876, for the purposes of cleaning.
1877, Wednesday, June 13th. Rev. S. B. Ainley took his last Service at S. Paul's, and left to go to Whalley Range, Manchester.
Nov. 30th, 1877. "Leonard, the Sexton, buried."
Dec. 16th, 1877. "G. Platt entered on his duties as Verger."
On Sunday, Jan. 20th, the Rev. W. Le Neve Bower entered upon his duties as Assistant Curate.
"Coming events cast their shadows before." — On Easter Day, 1879, the Collections were given to the "Diocesan Fund for the Diocese of Caledonia." A later reference will explain this. The Rev. W. Ridley officiated as Vicar of S. Paul's for the last time on Sunday, July 20th, taking for the text for his Evening Sermon Isaiah iv., 5.
On August 21st, 1879, he appeared again at S. Paul's, but on this occasion, instead of signing his name William Ridley, he signed it William Caledonia, signifying that sometime between July 20th and August 21st he had been consecrated Bishop of Caledonia. He is (so far) the only Vicar of S. Paul's who has been raised to the Episcopate.
The Rev. P. F. J. Pearce was inducted on Saturday, Oct. 18th, 1879, and preached his first Sermon as Vicar of the Parish the following day, from Acts i., 8. The years that follow seem to mark the hey-day of prosperity for S. Paul's. Much was accomplished during the next eight years.
On Feb. 6th, 1880, Arthur Pridgeon started his duties as Assistant Curate. It is an indication of the forward march that at Easter, 1880, there were 50 Communicants, while at Easter, 1887, there were 186-this is a very big advance in seven years.
1882, Sunday, June 11th. Rev. W. P. Ingledew commenced his work as Assistant Curate, and remained until October, 1888.
1883, Oct. 20-31. A Parochial Mission was held, when the Missioner was Rev. Joseph Simpson, of Littleton, near Staines.
The great work of this Vicar, however, was the successful carrying through of the Jubilee Celebrations, which included the raising of a large sum of money, and the building of the present beautiful Chancel. The Foundation Stone was laid by Lady Gwendolen Ramsden on Wednesday, July 11th, 1883.
"The Church was closed from June 29th until July 17th, 1884, to prepare it for the Opening of the New Chancel.
The following is a list of Preachers during the week of Thanksgiving Services :– The Bishop of Newcastle, the Dean of Ripon (Dr. Freemantle), the Vicars of Dewsbury, Shepley, Huddersfield (Canon Bardsley), Kirkheaton, S. Andrew's, Southport, Holy Trinity, Leeds, S. Mark's, Sheffield, and the Vicar of the Parish. The Collections at these Services amounted to £124.
The original estimates, which included New Chancel and Vestries, New Porches at West End, New Stalls to Nave, amounted to £4,102 3s. 7d., but these had to be considerably curtailed, so that the final cost was £2,100 — the West End was untouched and the New Stalls left to a later date.
1885. On Easter Sunday in the year 1885 the " Easter Offering given for the first time for the private use of the Vicar." It amounted to £25 5s. 0d. After this date too, the practice of having a Weekly Sunday Collection was started.
The following list of Churchwardens during this period may be of interest :– Messrs. T. Whittaker, T. D. Taylor, J. B. Abbey, J. Craven, W. H. Jessop, W. Mitchell, C. Nicholson.
Mr. Ranger was inducted on S. Paul's Day, 1888, at Aspley Mission Church, and preached his first sermon as Vicar on Feb. 5th.
On Sunday, Sept. 2nd, the Bishop of Caledonia, a late Vicar of S. Paul's, visited his old Parish and occupied the pulpit both morning and evening, and again on April 7th the following year.
On the last Sunday of 1888 the Rev. R. T. E. Fausset entered upon his duties as Assistant Curate.
On October 26th, 1889, a Mission started in the Parish which lasted until Nov. 5th. The Missioner was the Rev. Rowland Ellis, Incumbent of S. Paul's, Edinburgh, assisted by the Rev. Thomas Lennie, Incumbent of Lochie.
After Sunday, July 20th, 1890, the Church was closed until Sept. 24th, for the purpose of Restoration. The alterations at this time were as follow :– the removal of the North and South Galleries, the completion of the West Gallery, the removal of the whole of the sittings in the Nave and the re-seating of the same with oak benches, the cleaning, washing and painting of the whole of the interior of the Church, and also the consequential alterations in reference to heating, at a cost of about £1,500. At the same time the pulpit was given by Mrs. Haigh in memory of her husband, sometime Vicar of S. Paul's. The present gas standards in the Church were also added at this time, also the runners in the pews, the last named at a cost of £56.
A Special Series of Services marked the re-opening of the Church. Among the Preachers were-The Bishop (Dr. Walsham How), the Bishop of Glasgow, the Vicar, the Revs. F. G. Bussell, E. L. Walsh, W. Le Neve Bower, Thomas Newton, E. Snowdon, H. H. Ross, J. H. Town, and the collections at the various services amounted to £60.
In October, 1890, the Rev. John Pearce joined the staff as Curate. At this time there were two Assistant Curates.
In June, 1891, the Rev. R. J. E. Fausset left, and was succeeded by the Rev. J. L. Redfern, who stayed for only one year, when his place was taken by the Rev. H. P. Goocher.
The Rev. John Pearce left at the end of 1893, and the Rev. H. P. Goocher in March of the following year.
Mr. Ranger preached his last sermon as Vicar of S. Paul's on Sunday, April 15th, 1894, taking for his text S. John xvi., 20. He was instituted to the Rectory of Yardley Hastings, by the Bishop of Leicester on April 18th.
The Churchvvardens during his Vicariate at S. Paul's were :– Messrs. J. B. Abbey, J. A. Barrett, W. Kinder, R. E. Hinchliff, James Kaye, J. W. Crossley and H. T. Monnington.
We now come to one who is remembered with joy and affection by very many at S. Paul's to-day, one who held the position of Vicar for no less a period than 23 years, one who has left a permanent mark for good and blessing in our midst, and is now living in happy retirement at Minchinhampton — the Rev. A. W. Keely. Many will read with pleasure the words he has kindly sent for insertion in this Souvenir, and will be glad that his photograph is included.
Mr. Keely preached his first sermon at S. Paul's on Sunday, April 22nd, from the text i. Cor. iv., l and 2. He was inducted on May 11th at 4 p.m. by Bishop Walsham How.
During his long Vicariate he was fortunate in the choice of his Assistant Clergy, all of whom are well remembered and highly thought of in the Parish to-day :–
On June 20th, 1897, there was a Special Day of Thanksgiving in connection with the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria.
On Nov. 21st, 1897, "the Mayor (Mr. Alderman Jessop) and Corporation, accompanied by others holding public offices in this Borough, attended the morning service."
On Jan. 29th, 1899, Bishop Eden preached for the first time at S. Paul's. It is interesting to note the signature, too, of C. C. Bardsley, now Bishop of Leicester, and at this period Curate of the Parish Church of Huddersfield.
From October 7th to October 17th, 1899, a Parochial Mission was held at S. Paul's, conducted by the Rev. Hubert Hughes, Vicar of S. Paul's, Clapham. Special Services were held daily, as well as Addresses given to Men, to the Police, to Mill Workers and to Theatrical Companies.
On Jan. 14th, 1900, Special Collections were made in the Church on behalf of the Lord Mayor's War Fund, which amounted to £16 13s. 9d.
On Feb. 2nd, 1901, a Memorial Service was held for Queen Victoria.
On June 26th, 1902, there was a special "Service of Intercession for H.M. The King."
The number of Communicants at Easter at this time was over 250.
Jan. 27th. 1906. "Laying of Corner Stone of New Day Schools by Lady Gwendolen Ramsden." Collections in Church at this Ceremony and on the following day (Sunday) amounted to £32.
Jan. 26th, 1907. "Opening of New Day and Sunday Schools." The Bishop of Wakefield was the Preacher, and the collection amounted to £132.
March 25th, 1907. The Mothers' Union branch was formed.
June 16th, 1907. "Open-air Services on Thursday commenced this week."
Feb. 8th, 1908. "Re-opening of Church after Renovation; Dedication of Chancel Screen." Collections £23.
Nov. 21st, 1909. "Visit of Mayor and Corporation."
May 20th, 1910. "Memorial Service for King Edward VII."
June 22nd, 1911. "Coronation Service-Coronation of King George V."
Oct. 29th, 1911. " Litany Desk presented by Mr. Hordern Dedicated at 10-30 Service and used for the first time."
July 3rd, 1914. The custom of having NO Sermon on the first Sunday morning of the month started.
Aug. 16th, 1914. First reference to the Great War, when the Church collections, amounting to £15, were given to the Prince of Wales' National Relief Fund.
July 29th, 1917. Rev. A. W. Keely's Farewell Services. He preached both morning and evening from the same text — i. Chron. xxix. , 5. "Who then is willing to consecrate his service this day unto the Lord?"
The great work of this period was the wonderful venture of faith in the building of the New Day and Sunday Schools, and they stand as a lasting memorial to the very successful ministry of Mr. Keely.
The Rev. E. Marsh took charge of the Parish from Oct. 7th, 1917, until June 2nd, 1918, and appears to have been very acceptable in his ministrations.
At some date in 1917 the Rev. R. W. L. Connor was instituted and inducted to the Living, but acting upon Doctor's advice he resigned at once owing to throat trouble, and the majority of the Parishioners never even saw him.
At the Dedication Festival — S. Paul's-tide, 1918 — a most successful effort was made to raise money, and a sum of £117 was collected in the Church. This was indeed a noteworthy effort. Probably in that year there was no Sale of Work, and this effort was made in lieu thereof.
Among the Churchwardens during Mr. Keely's long Vicariate were the following :– Messrs. J. W. Crossley, Herbert Hall, W. Kinder, E. Fenton, H. T. Monnington, W. Kaye, C. C. Denison, W. Shaw, James Hopkinson, B. C. Cocks, Dr. Rhodes, and L. J. Firth.
Mr. Odling was instituted and inducted by the Ven. Archdeacon Harvey at 7-30 p.m. on June 6th, 1918.
On Sunday, Jan. 26th, the Dedication Festival collections in the Church amounted to £78 3s. 0d.
On June 27th, 1920, the War Memorial was dedicated. This consists of the Altar, Reredos and Oak Panelling containing the names of those who gave their lives in the War.
On Sept. 19th, 1920, a Memorial Service was held in the Church for the Rev. A. C. Ranger, who died on Sept. 13th.
During 1921 a movement was started to provide the Parish with a Young Men's Institute. A suitable dwelling-house was obtained and converted into an Institute ; this is situated at the corner of S. Paul's Street. The premises were entered on Nov. 1st, 1921, and the Institute was formally opened on Feb. 4th, 1922, by the Ven. Archdeacon Harvey. A new wing was opened on April 7th, 1923. The Patron of the Club is Jesse Lumb, Esq., and the following have been Presidents :– 1922-4 W. Kaye, Esq. ; 1925 Rev. E. F. Odling; 1926 A. Clegg, Esq. ; 1927-8 H. Dyson, Esq. The average membership roll is 50.
Mr. Odling was a great enthusiast in the Missionary Cause, and acted as Secretary to the Diocesan Board of Missions, and did much in the Parish to awaken and develop Missionary enthusiasm.
Mr. Odling closed his Ministry at S. Paul's on Sunday, Jan. 31st, 1926, upon his appointment to Coley Vicarage, Halifax.
During the next three months the Rev. Dr. Callow was in charge of the Parish, until the induction of the present Vicar.
Among the Churchwardens during Mr. Odling's Vicariate were :– Messrs. F. E. Beckwith, F. Baines, J. H. Black burn, H. Dyson, E. Wardle, R. H. Pearson.
Mr. Harvey was Instituted by the Rt. Rev. the Lord Bishop of Wakefield, and Inducted by the V en. Archdeacon Harvey on Saturday, May 8th, 1926.
Some considerable delay was caused by the General Strike before Mr. and Mrs. Harvey and daughter were able to take up their residence at St. David's. This house had been acquired at a cost of about £2,000 by the Parochial Council, and along with the York Place property, it was placed under the Trusteeship of seventeen gentlemen elected by the Council. Through the instigation of Mr. R. H. Pearson, an eminently satisfactory agreement was made with the Educational Authorities whereby an increased rental is received by St. Paul's for the Aspley Mission buildings, now used as a Domestic Subjects Centre. One of the first tasks the Vicar set his hand to was the speedy wiping out of the small debt — about £70 — on the Day Schools. The properties belonging to St. Paul's Church have, therefore, in the last two years been put upon a satisfactory basis.
The Church life has gone steadily forward. Mr. Harvey is a vigorous and pleasant personality, a powerful preacher, and popular with all his parishioners and congregation. In his ministry he has been very ably assisted by Sister Evans and other Church workers. A change in our Sunday Services, which the Vicar introduced, and which has been much appreciated, is the beautiful Choral Communion Service held each first Sunday in the month. Our hearty thanks are given to the men and boys of the Choir, and particularly to Mr. A. Pearson, Mus. Bac. (Oxon), F.R.C.O., for the excellent Musical Services which they consistently render. Mr. Pearson has completed more than forty years' service as Organist of St. Paul's Church. Well done !
The series of Fortnightly Concerts during the Winter has been one of Mr. Harvey's successful innovations, and these Concerts are a special feature in the Parish Social life.
The people of St. Paul's hope that Mr. and Mrs. Harvey will remain with them for many years to carry on the work so well begun.
The Centenary of the Stone-laying of the Church — November 13th — is at hand, and it is to be marked (D.V.) by the renovation in a worthy manner of our beloved Church. Let all rally round the Church, and regularly meet for prayer and praise therein to Almighty God, Who has for the last hundred years blessed St. Paul's Church and people with countless gifts of love, and Who still is ours to-day.
The Vicar has asked me to send some reminiscences of my 23 years at St. Paul's. I fear I may be wordy, and perhaps too personal. It is difficult to avoid either danger.
On coming to the parish 34 years ago, I found already established, and in good working order, a Parochial Church Council. Church Councils in those days had no legal status. The Vicar and Churchwardens could have one or not as they and the people thought best. But the Council was a real power at St. Paul's. Every undertaking of importance either originated with the Council, or was set going by them in its earliest stages. The building of the New Schools, the re-placing of the old organ by a new one (the old one wanting, it was said, two ends and a middle), or the increase of the endowment of the Living, or a big Bazaar-these and other undertakings were considered from the first, and set moving, by the Church Council. It lacked, indeed, the help of those who in days gone by were sometimes spokon of as members of the weaker sex. Certainly the inclusion of ladies would have strengthened the Ne'v Schools Building Committee.
If I were asked to mention any particular feature of Church and Parochial life, I should at an:.Y" rate include these three — the Church Services, the Day and Sunday Schools, the co-operation of the laity. The word co-operation, as applied to the laity, is not a correct one. So much was initiated and carried through by them, the Vicar hanging on and saying " Well done." There were few better Schools, I am sure, in the Diocese, whether progress, or tone, or the happiness of the Staff and Children are thought of. The Celebration of the Jubilee of the Schools in 1896 will only be remembered by those who have attended the Church the longest. It was quite a big thing as a parochial affair, and thoroughly well done. The Church Services will never be forgotten. Sometimes few words express feeling better than many.
If asked to mention difficulties of the past, I should certainly include this one. The wide area from which so many of the congregation came made it impossible for the Clergy to do their duty, either to them or to those resident in the parish itself. This difficulty was a real one in my time, although I was fortunate in having four capable colleagues (not all at once !) whose work is remembered gratefully, as well as that of a succession of devoted Church Army Sisters.
Whenever we had a more than usually difficult task before us, we were reminded both by valuable councils and generous gifts that we were part of a greater whole, a parish in a Diocese. At such times the Bishop was one of our most sympathetic friends.
For one brief period — perhaps only a few weeks — all the members of the regular staff who were responsible for a particular branch of work, had been together for twenty years. These included the Vicar, the Organist, the Choirmaster, the two Head Teachers, the Verger, and the School Caretaker. Whatever disadvantage may attach to prolonged service, this shows, at least, that the people at St. Paul's are appreciative and kind to those who serve them.
The reminiscences of a Parish Priest who has been in one sphere of work for nearly a quarter of a century always include regrets — for mistakes made, for opportunities missed. Especially with regard to the things which matter most and last longest. But such regrets, however many and sincere, should be softened by the knowledge of good work already done, and is being done by successors.
My wish for the present Vicar is when the time comes for him to hand over his responsibility to another, he may be happy in the knowledge that his best hopes have been realized.
I could never forget St. Paul's, nor fail to retain for it an affectionate interest. I made many friendships while there. Not a few friends have passed away, but I cherish the hope of meeting them again. Many still remain, and I know their friendship will last as long as this life lasts, and, I am sure, beyond.
At the request of the Vicar, I will attempt to recall the happenings at St. Paul's since my first association with the Church as organist. Before doing this, it may be interesting to refer briefly to the musical conditions prevailing before that time.
There was no organ for some considerable period after the Church was opened, but tradition (handed on to me from a veteran organ builder) says, that the old organ, which stood in St. Paul's until 1900 (though it had been altered and improved in the meantime), was originally bought from St. Dunstan's Church, Fleet Street, London, whence it came by road to Huddersfield. It now stands in the Wesleyan Chapel, Milnsbridge (on its erection there it was discovered that the beautiful old oak case had been painted over).
As far as I have been able to investigate, I have only had three predecessors as organist since the Church was opened (there are one of two slight gaps which I am unable to fill in), but as far as I can make out Mr. Henry Horn must have been the first organist. He lived in High Street, and his wife was organist at Queen Street Chapel. Their names may be found on a fiat gravestone on the South side of St. Paul's Churchyard, where they lie buried. Mr. Horn died in 1852.
The choir, at that time, was a mixed one, and the choir pew was in front of the organ in the \Vest gallery. It was a noted choir, and included, at one time, Mrs. Sunderland, "The Yorkshire Queen of Song" (in whose memory the Sunderland Competitions were founded), Mr. Lister Peace (father of the famous organist, Dr. Peace, of Liverpool), Mr. George Wilkinson, Mr. George Milnes, and (later on) Miss Smythe, Miss England, Messrs. Schofield, J. Varley, F. Haigh, H. P. Wade, Wm. Marshall and Alf. Halstead, the latter three remaining to be members of the new surpliced choir in 1884, and rendered long and valuable service to the Church.
Mr. George Milnes (mentioned above) was a wonderfully capable alto singer and excellent music copyist, as some of the old St. Paul's manuscript books show.
Mr. Alfred Halstead was the possessor of a remarkable alto voice, and more than once had the offer of a Cathedral appointment.
There is a slight gap between the death of Mr. Horn (in 1852) and the next appointment (1854) unaccounted for, but in the latter year Mr. (afterwards Sir) Walter Parratt became organist at the age of 13, and remained until 1861 (his father and his elder brother, Henry, were successive organists at the Parish Church, covering nearly 100 years between them, and the family resided in Ramsden Street in the building which is now the Borough Club). He after being private organist to the Earl of Wilton. Became successively — organist at Wigan Parish Church, Magdalen College, Oxford (where he formed a personal friendship with one of the Royal Princes), and at H.M. Chapel Royal, Windsor. He was also, at the close of his life, Professor of Music at Oxford University.
It is rather a curious coincidence, that besides being one of my predecessors at St. Paul's, he was Adjudicator at the Competition for the post of Borough Organist in 1891, and my viva-voce Examiner at my Final Mus. Bac. Examination at Oxford in 1899.
He was followed at St. Paul's by Mr. Joe Wood, the founder of the well-known music firm in town, who remained until the end of 1883, when he resigned on the formation of the surpliced choir.
I well remember my first visit to St. Paul's in May, 1884. It was some five months after the new male voice choir had taken office. Mr. F. W. D. Walker (who was to be my future colleague for so many happy years) was getting the newly-formed choir into harness, so to speak, in the West gallery (where the organ still stood), whilst the new Chancel, which was to replace the former small apse, was building, and as it had been decided to postpone the appointment of organist until the Chancel was ready for use, he was doing duty temporarily at the organ, with Messrs. Wade, Halstead, Marshal! and F. Moore (father of Mr. Frank Moore), and others in the choir, and a new team of boys who were getting their first experience as choir boys. The post of organist had been advertised as vacant and applications invited, so I got off from duty from my Sunday Evening Service at Golcar Church, where I had been -organist for four years, and acting organist a year longer during the illness of one of my brothers who was my predecessor, and came down to hear the service at St. Paul's, as I had thought of applying for the post. I must have been favourably impressed, as I entered my name, and was selected with two others to show what I could do by taking a Sunday's Services (I was the last of the three selected candidates to play).
Two things stand out in my mind. Firstly :– that I had, at my first service, to play Handel's Dead March in memory of my predecessor, who had only survived his resignation six months. Secondly :– that it was the Sunday School Festival (at that time held on Trinity Sunday). The Vicar, Rev. P. F. J. Pearce (who had been at St. Paul's since 1879) and the Churchwardens, Mr. Jonas Craven and Mr. J. B. Abbey then informed me that my appointment had been decided upon. I remember that my father had to sign the agreement with the Churchwardens, as I was still an infant in the eyes of the law.
Then began preparations for the Opening of the Chancel. The old organ was removed from the West gallery and placed, temporarily, behind the choir screen, where the present organ now stands. The Opening of the Chancel took place on Thursday morning, July 17th, 1884, when the Bishop of Newcastle was the Preacher, and a public luncheon followed. A series of daily Choral Evensongs succeeded, the choirs of the neighbouring Churches taking one in turns.
Then followed a trying experience for the parish and congregation of St. Paul's. Mr. Pearce's health began to fail, and after spending successive winters (1885-6 and 1886-7) in the South of France in the vain endeavour to recoup, he finally, in December, 1887, exchanged livings with the Rev. A. C. Ranger to try what a more Southern climate would do for him.
During his long absences from the parish the Curate (the Rev. W. Pelisier Ingledow) carried on, with the assistance of local Clergy, amongst whom I specially remember the Rev. Thos. Newton, Vicar of Shepley (who was a noted preacher, and afterwards became Vicar of Barnstaple) and the Rev. Abraham Marshall, Headmaster of Almondbury Grammar School.
The Rev. A. C. Ranger was a splendid organiser and business man (and his wife, may I add, a most kindly and gracious lady), and it was to his untiring efforts that we were indebted for the restoration of the Church (the removal of the old high-backed pews, some of them square, the removal of the side galleries, the re-seating of the Church in oak, and the freeing from pew rents of the South side of the Church).
The Rev. A. W. Keely was appointed as Vicar (coming to us from the Parish Church, where he had been Senior Curate) on the Rev. A. C. Ranger's accepting a Midland living in April, 1894, and was joined in the September of the same year by the Rev. W. H. Verity as Curate. This was the beginning of a long and happy partnership, as Mr. Verity remained as Curate for nearly five years. He was succeeded in June, 1899, by the Rev. E. W. Hughes, who remained until 1905.
During Mr. Keely's Vicariate three important schemes were carried out. First — £1,000 was raised to augment the value of the living (this was doubled by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners), and secondly, a new organ by Messrs. Abbott & Smith, of Leeds, was installed at a cost of £1,000 (exclusive of the engines for blowing, and of the case, which was designed and presented by Isaac Hordern, Esq., who also, later on, gave the Choir Screen, Pulpit Sounding Board, and the Canopy for the Font).
The third scheme was the erection of New Day and Sunday Schools in St. Paul's Street, the Foundation Stone of which was laid by Lady Gwendolen Ramsden in 1906, and the Schools opened in January, 1907.
In connection with the organ scheme. I well remember the Declaration of Peace at Pretoria after the Boer War. The news came through on the Sunday Evening, and was announced from the pulpit. I played a jubilant piece of music at the close of the Service. Mr. Roebuck (an uncle of the late Mr. W. Kaye) lingered behind in his pew at the front of the West gallery and listened to the end. At the close he asked the Wardens what the balance of the organ debt was. The information was given him, and the Wardens were instructed to "send the Vicar up in the morning for a cheque for the amount." So that is how the organ became clear of debt in less than two years after opening.
We were without Curate for a considerable time after Mr. Hughes left us in 1905, no further appointment being made until that of the Rev. R. Brittain in 1909. He remained with us for five years (1914), the Rev. T. L. Evans succeeding him and remained for a few months longer than the close of the Rev. A. W. Keely's Vicariate.
Just before this there terminated, at the end of January, 1916, a long and happy partnership between Mr. F. W. D. Walker, as choirmaster, and myself, as organist, he resigning after 32 years' service. The Rev. A. W. Keely (Vicar) and Mr. W. Kinder and Dr. F. Rhodes (Wardens) offered me the joint position, which I have since occupied. I was enabled to accept, as I had just terminated a long period of service as conductor of the Skipton Choral Society (20 years) and of Holmfirth Choral Society.
On the Rev. A. W. Keely's resignation in July, 1917, there was a long inter-regnum, whilst we were waiting for the return from the War of the Rev. R. Connor, who had accepted the living and had actually been Inducted (Jan. 27th, 1918). After his Induction he had to return to the Front , but a month later (Feb. 24th, 1918) it was announced in Church that he had been compelled, on medical advice, to resign the living on account of throat trouble.
The Rev. E. Marsh, who had been in temporary charge of the parish after the departure of the Rev. T. L. Evans in October, 1917, continued in charge until June, 1918.
The Rev. E. F. Odling was Inducted as Vicar on June 6th, and remained until January, 1926, when he left us to become Vicar of Coley, Halifax.
I should like, in closing, to specially refer to one or two instances of long service in the choir. Our veteran tenor, Mr. H. Ackroyd, was in the choir on its formation in 1884, and even, with an absence of some 14 years when he resided in another town, he still remains credited with 30 years' service. Mr. Percy Cudworth has 31 years' service to his credit, and Mr. W. Sunderland 37 years ; whilst Mr. H . Firth, if we allow for the short period elapsing between the break of his boy's voice and his coming into the choir as a man, has practically seen parallel service with me.
Two former members of the choir hold Cathedral appointments — Mr. Frank Mercer (St. Paul's Cathedral), Mr. A. C. Sadler (York Minster).
It is perhaps pardonable for the choir to be proud of having the credit of being the first choir to attend the Church Service at the Royal Infirmary on Sunday morning at 9-0. This has been kept up regularly on one Sunday in the month (when the Service is taken by the Vicar) for years, and other choirs have been induced to fill up the intervening Sundays. So there is a choir to lead the singing every week. The late Mr. P. B. L. Lawton was the originator of the idea.
If I have covered the ground rather more hurriedly over the latter part of our Centenary period, it is because the happenings being more recent, are fresh in our people's minds. It has given me great pleasure to try and give a more or less connected account of events at St. Paul's during my long period of office. I am aware of its many imperfections and shortcomings, which I hope will be forgiven.
P.S. — A lady friend reminds me that I have said nothing about the instances of one Vicar and three Curates who, on their leaving St. Paul's, carried away with them, as wives, ladies whose loss was particularly felt in the Sunday School and Congregation for a long time — The Rev. A. W. Keely ; Rev. W. Le Neve Bower ; Rev. E. W. Hughes ; Rev. T. L. Evans.
Church Workers who have served S. Paul's for 20 years and over :–
DAY SCHOOL TEACHERS.
SUNDAY SCHOOL TEACHERS.