St Michael & All Angels', Beckwithshaw, Harrogate, North Yorkshire HG3 1QW

Tel: 01423 873577
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History of the church

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Church of St Michael and All Angels, Beckwithshaw, North Yorkshire, England, also known as Beckwithshaw Church, is an Anglican church built and furnished between 1886 and 1887 by William Swinden Barber in the Gothic Revival style as part of the Arts and Crafts movement. The stained glass windows in the same style were added in 1892. The church is listed as a Grade II historic structure;[2] it is a pristine and unchanged example of an Arts and Crafts church retaining all its original furnishings, apart from one missing statue. The first vicar of this church, from 1887 to 1894, was Charles Farrar Forster.[3][4]

The foundation stone was laid on 29 September 1884. The day was the feast day of St Michael and Mrs Williams’ birthday.

The church was completed in 1886 and it was dedicated and consecrated by Mrs Williams’ uncle, The Bishop of Ripon, at Michaelmas, Thursday 29 September. (On the afternoon of the same day, the bishop consecrated another church also dedicated to St Michael and All Angels at Cottingley, near Bingley.) The church was filled, although Beckwithshaw was at that time just a hamlet with a few surrounding farmhouses. There was a grand procession into the church, headed by the robed choir. Behind them came the churchwardens, one of which was Henry Williams the donor, then the Bishop of Ripon in full vestments. Behind them followed many robed clergymen, including Samuel Owen Madden the Dean of Cork, Henry Stewart the Dean of Dromore, Rev. Canon William Winter Gibbon, MA, vicar of Christ Church, High Harrogate, Rev. Dr A. Buck of St Mary’s Church, Stainburn, Rev. Mark Rowntree, MA, of St Robert’s Church, Pannal, Rev. G.O. Brownrigg, MA, vicar of St Mary’s Harrogate, Rev. R.G. Brownrigg of St Mary’s, Harrogate, Rev. A. Robinson of St John the Evangelist Church, Bilton, Rev. T.F. Buckton of Christ Church, High Harrogate, and Rev. H. Kershaw of St Mary’s Church, Greenhow Hill. Gibbon, Rowntree and Buck conducted the service, because the church did not yet have its own vicar. The organ was not yet installed, so a Miss Burnley played a harmonium, which may at that time have been placed within the organ arch. The choir was made up of local residents who had been trained by the new choirmaster, Mr Halliwell. The bishop preached the sermon, after which there was a collection amounting to £11 13s., for the Wakefield Bishopric Fund.

The jubilee of the church’s consecration was celebrated on the evening of 30 September 1936, with a special service conducted by the Rev. H.R. Stott who had served as vicar of the parish for the preceding forty-two years. By this time Mr and Mrs Henry Williams of Moor Park had died, but in the intervening years since funding the building and endowing the vicar’s living, they had given a vicarage, the church furnishings, and the village institute. Since their deaths, their relatives had made more “substantial gifts” to the church and increased the value of the benefice. In the same year the church fabric and the organ were renovated at a total cost of £360.

All the links below open in a new tab so that you wont lose contact with the St Michael’s website.


For further information located on Wikipedia regarding the history of our church, please click here.


Link to Wikimedia details about our church belfry and lots of pics of the bells.


Link to Wikimedia pictures of the interior of our church.


Link to Wikimedia pictures of our beautiful stained glass windows.


Link to Wikimedia pictures of the exterior of St Michael and All Angels’, Beckwithshaw


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