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ST MARY’S HORBURY JUNCTION
It was a suggestion by the Mother Superior of the House of Mercy, Miss Goodenough, that a mission room should be built at Horbury Junction. She offered to donate £100, if Canon Sharp could raise the remainder towards it.
The mission room, built in Forge Lane was opened on 14th January 1887 and dedicated to St. Mary. The first curate-in-charge was the Rev. F. W. Isaacs, who was followed by the Rev.R. H. Manders (later to become the first vicar). It was intended to seat up to 25 people and it was soon apparent that it was inadequate. When the congregation became too large it was decided that a parish church should be built.
The site for the church was given by Mr R. Race, of Tanfield House. The comer stone was laid by the then Viscount Halifax on 23rd April 1892. £4,700 had been raised, towards the estimated cost of £6,000. Brighouse stone was used for the walls with Weldon stone dressings.
The new Church was consecrated on October 10, 1893 by the Bishop of Wakefield. Special services were held during the following week. Collections were not made at all of these services as there was a coal strike in the village.
In 1902 the church was one of the first Horbury buildings to be lit by electricity. Power was obtained from an oil engine and, when a new organ was obtained in 1905, this was also powered by electricity. The church did not have electric power from the main supplier, (at that time Electrical Distribution of Yorkshire), until 1921.
Major structural work was done in 1926 when it was found the main arch of the Church was giving way. The size of the chapel was doubled. The work was done by a local craftsman, William Thickett.
By 1950 the church had been completely re-roofed following the discovery of serious defects. The present vicarage was completed in 1956 and cost about £6,000. In 1968, the 1905 organ was replaced by an electronic one.
Joan P Smith
Information from ’Horbury Heritage’ by R. D. Woodall and ‘Proud Village’ (Horbury Historical Soc. )
© JOAN P SMITH 2014
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