Sunday, 6 June 2010

Faith in the City - Leeds Parish Church

The parish church of Leeds by RD Chantrell for Dr Walter Farquhar Hook, who was vicar from 1837 until 1859. It replaced the medieval church at a cost of £30,000.

The exhibition for Woodbine Willie celebrates 100 years since his ordination as a priest there.

During a diocesan reorganisation in the late C19 the church was denied cathedral status, a fact that historically would have prevented Leeds from becoming a city but the link with Anglican dioceses was broken in 1889 when Birmingham successfully petitioned for city status on the grounds of its large population and history of good local government. So, instead, the church is affectionately known as Leeds Parish Church within the diocese of Ripon and Leeds.

When Pevsner wrote about the building in 1959 he was not enthused by the fact that the railway, in 1869, had cut the church off from the town 'so effectively that it seems to stand at a half-commercial, half-derelict dead end'. We may have all grumbled when the loop route was conceived and in place but at least it made the church more visible and seemingly more accessible to the people of Leeds.

The embroidery was hand painted to the design of James Brown and hand stitched by Joyce James.

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