On 26th April, Friends and Trustees set out for a tour of memorable churches around Bradford
It was indeed a memorable day and well organised with interesting speakers at every church. There were 29 of us in our own cars and directions were excellent.
We started in Bradford Cathedral for coffee and we were given a presentation by Gillian Davis, the education and visitor officer, on the history of the Cathedral including harrowing events during the Civil War and including up to date news on the new diocese. There was plenty of time to look at the items we had seen and the different stages in the building, in particular the light and airy chancel.
The next church was St John the Evangelist, Bierley which was a big contrast. Situated on a busy road junction this small Georgian church had several interesting additions due to it being once a private chapel for a local family. We heard how it has been adapted to serve the local community and holds many clubs and activities every week.
St James, Tong was our next venue, where we were informed it had been used in the recent filming of Jamaica Inn. The light coloured box pews and the internal style had been accurate for the date of the story. The chancel was dominated by the Tempest family pews which almost obscured the view of the sanctuary for everyone else.
An excellent lunch then was taken at the Greyhound pub, but be careful where you park!
On to St Lawrence, Pudsey built as one of the Waterloo churches to serve the huge congregation of the expanding Leeds/Bradford cities. This has been reordered on a large scale with audio-visual equipment and seating to accommodate concerts etc. with rooms upstairs for meetings and classes. The old galleries remain which make for interesting viewing.
Finally we went to St Wilfrid’s, Calverley which is hoping to reorder shortly. The vicar took us for a walk in the large graveyard to see the Calverley Angel carved from an old beech tree and where many notable Victorians are buried. We also encountere the sheep and goats.This gave us an appetite for a delicious afternoon tea served café style in the North Aisle.
We were well looked after by Jeremy Mackrell and Roger Glister who made a thoroughly good team and gave us an excellent day. I hope we will have many more.