Holy Trinity Church, Bingley

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Holy Trinity Church, Bingley
Holy Trinity Church Bingley.jpg
DenominationChurch of England
Weekly attendance150 per week[1]
WebsiteOfficial Website
StatusParish Church
Dedicated5 December 1975
Functional statusActive
ParishHoly Trinity, Bingley
Vicar(s)Reverend Andrew Clarke[2]

Holy Trinity Church is an Anglican parish church in the town of Bingley, West Yorkshire, England notable for its original church being demolished by explosive charge on 7 April 1974.[3]


Up until 1868, the parish in Bingley was singular under the Church of All Saints in the north of the town. The population in Bingley had increased greatly during the 19th century due to the Industrial Revolution and the decision was taken to create a new parish when All Saints Church was too full to carry on.[4] The Council voted to establish a chapelry upon the new parish on the 8 May 1869.[5] The new parish would include Gilstead, Cottingley and parts of the new town of Bingley. Because of the influence of Tractarianism, when the plans for the new Italian Gothic church went on show, some denounced it as Roman .[6] The church's Pre-Raphaelite influenced building caused John Ruskin, who was staying in Bingley in 1881, to comment that it was of 'severe simplicity and dignity.'[7] Pevsner described the building as; "disappointing, dark in its desperately drab surroundings, and the school also built at the same time would scarcely be recognized as the work of an architect of genius".[8]

The church was consecrated on the 23 October 1868 by Bishop Bickersteth when a population of 4,500 was assigned to it.[9] The church, designed by the Victorian architect Richard Norman Shaw,[10] was built without a tower, although one was added later which the foundations were not strong enough for. Even as soon as 1882, it was noted that the tower was unsafe when a large stone came crashing down during a church service shocking the congregation.[11]

In 1973, cracks were beginning to show in the church[12] and the tower was scaffolded to allow piecemeal demolition of the structure. Two weeks before its explosive demolition, workmen at the top said that they heard the tower and church audibly creak and groan prompting the mass evacuation of nearby houses.[13] The decision was taken by convention of the architects, demolition experts and church authorities that blasting was the only option and so the tower and church were demolished by explosive charge on Palm Sunday in 1974.[14] The congregation raised £23,000 to build a new church on the site. This structure was dedicated on the 5 December 1975 and is still in use today[15] with the stained glass from the original windows re-used in the Rose Window of the new church.[16]

A Sunday school was formed adjacent to the church in 1870, opening in 1871, Holy Trinity School became an all day boy and girls school in 1872.[17]

The parish includes St Wilfreds in Gilstead and along with the parish of Church of All Saints, Bingley (which includes the churches of St. Aidan, Crossflatts and St. Lawrence, Eldwick) is part of the Bingley Group Ministry.[18] The benefice used to lie within the Diocese of Bradford, but since 20 April 2014 it is now in the Diocese of Leeds.[19]

Vicars of Holy Trinity[edit]

The following is taken from booklet Holy Trinity Parish Church 1868 - 1968[20] and from local records.

Name Tenure Notes
Reverend Albert Hudson 1868 - 1877
Reverend H L Williams 1877 - 1888
Reverend F W Bardsley 1888 - 1910
Reverend F A Hodd 1910 - 1923
Reverend H W Sherwin 1923 - 1926
Reverend P Sowerby 1927 - 1932
Reverend G S Addison 1932 - 1935
Reverend A Langford Jones 1935 - 1937 The Lady Chapel of the old Trinity building is dedicated in memory of Rev Jones
Reverend R H Place 1938 - 1944
Reverend Hugh Hunter 1944 - 1954 Honorary Canon of Bradford Cathedral 1948
Reverend A R Gaunt 1955 - 1958
Reverend W H McLaren 1960 - 1965
Reverend Peter Amor 1965 - 1972
Reverend John Holford 1973 - 1986
Reverend John Cooper 1987 - 1992
Reverend Andrew Clarke 1993 - Current incumbent


  1. ^ "Dashboard for the parish of Bingley: Holy Trinity in the Deanery of AIREDALE" (PDF). leeds.anglican.org. 8 December 2016. Retrieved 27 November 2017.
  2. ^ "Bingley: Holy Trinity, Bingley". A Church Near You. Retrieved 10 January 2016.
  3. ^ "Lost glory of Victoria halls". Yorkshire Post. 6 June 2011. Retrieved 10 January 2016.
  4. ^ Bell, Cyril (1968). "Holy Trinity Parish Church 1868-1968". Bradford: Diocese of Bradford: 8. OCLC 243866073.
  5. ^ Speight, Harry (1898). Chronicles and stories of old Bingley. A full account of the history, antiquities, natural productions, scenery, customs and folklore of the ancient town and parish of Bingley, in the West Riding of Yorkshire. London: Eliot Stock. p. 174. Retrieved 10 January 2016.
  6. ^ Dodd, E E (1958). Bingley - A Yorkshire town through nine centuries. Guiseley: MTD Rigg. p. 148. Retrieved 20 February 2016.
  7. ^ "They built a symbol of their faith". Keighley News & Bingley Guardian. 19 April 1974. p. 8.
  8. ^ Pevsner, Nikolaus (2001). Yorkshire; the West Riding (2 ed.). London: Penguin Books. p. 102. ISBN 0-14-071017-5.
  9. ^ Horsfall Turner, J (1897). Ancient Bingley: or, Bingley, its history and scenery. p. 302. Retrieved 10 January 2016.
  10. ^ Howse, Christopher (3 November 2012). "Norman Shaw's comfortable counterblast to Modernism". Telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 10 January 2016.
  11. ^ "Panic In A Church". The Grantham Journal. 7 January 1882. p. 7. Retrieved 10 January 2016.
  12. ^ Markham, David. "Holy Trinity and St Wilfrid's Bingley -". www.holytrinityandstwilfrid.org.uk. Retrieved 10 January 2016.
  13. ^ "Steeple to be blasted after creaks heard". Keighley News and Bingley Guardian. 21 March 1974.
  14. ^ "Ripon Civic Society Comment: HOLY TRINITY, BINGLEY - A DEMOLISHED CHURCH WITH LESSONS IN PRESERVATION". www.riponcivicsociety.org.uk. Retrieved 10 January 2016.
  15. ^ "Forty year celebration for Bingley church that rose from the rubble". www.leeds.anglican.org. Retrieved 13 July 2016.
  16. ^ "Creative use for glass rescued when church was demolished". Yorkshire Post. 31 December 2007. Retrieved 10 January 2016.
  17. ^ Bell, Cyril (1968). "Holy Trinity Parish Church 1868-1968". Bradford: Diocese of Bradford: 26. OCLC 243866073.
  18. ^ "Holy Trinity and St Wilfrid's Bingley". www.holytrinityandstwilfrid.org.uk. Retrieved 8 January 2016.
  19. ^ "First new diocese since 1929 created in Yorkshire". BBC News. Retrieved 8 January 2016.
  20. ^ Bell, Cyril (1968). "Holy Trinity Parish Church 1868-1968". Bradford: Diocese of Bradford: 16–17. OCLC 243866073.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 53°50′44.0″N 1°49′49.9″W / 53.845556°N 1.830528°W / 53.845556; -1.830528