St Barnabas’ History

Founding of the building

The church of St. Barnabas, Heaton, was erected in 1863 . The Earl of Rosse gave the site and contributed £200. The principal contributor appears to have been a Mr. Benjamin Wood of Frizinghall who, at a cost of between £500 and £600, erected the tower and spire.

The church originally consisted of nave, south aisle, and chancel with  semi—circular apse and organ chamber; tower and spire. The architectural style is French-Gothic of the early thirteenth century. The cost of the church was about £2,800.

The white stone reredos was erected and designed in 1889 by Benjamin Payler of Leeds. The cost was £120 and appears to have been defrayed by the church.

Generous gifts

The Peal of Bells, recast in 1966 by Messrs. John Taylor and Co. of Loughborough, was installed by Messrs. J. Shaw and Co., Founders of Bradford in August 1891, the gift of Frederick Illingwoth of Heather Bank, Heaton. Mr. Illingworth added the vestry, made additions to the chancel and “at great expense … reconstructed the organ in the church on the electric principle.”

Mr. Illingworth also made contributions which allowed the North Aisle of the church to be built in 1895/96. It was dedicated by the Bishop of Ripon on December 19th 1896.

Later improvements

The extension of the chancel step and the provision of space for a sidechapel was undertaken in 1970.  As a consequence of a Legacy from Francis Gamble, parishioner, of Marriners Drive.

The side chapel furnishings were completed and the chapel dedicated on the eve of St. Simon and St. Judes day (the church’s Dedication Festival) 1971 by the Bishop of Bradford.

A number of improvements were undertaken at the time of the centenary of the church. The most substantial was the addition of a new clergy vestry. The pews were stripped of the dark varnish with which they had been painted and the lighting was renewed.

The Windows

Of the ten stained glass windows, five are of notable origin, having been  made by the London firm of Charles Kempe. Two of these (one in the north aisle and one in the south aisle) are marked by the wheatsheaf and-tower symbol of the firm. After Kempe’s death in 1907, the firm was continued by his cousin, Walter Tower, hence the addition to the wheatsheaf of Kempe.

A related trio of windows in the sanctuary, in memory of  Mary, Countess of Rosse, were made during the period of Kempe’s best work. They are unmarked by the wheatsheaf but the Rosse estate records show them to be made by Kempe.

The policy of the church is to replace opaque windows with antique reamy  clear glass as funds become available. An interesting example of partial replacement is the window on the north side of the chancel where only the central figure remains in colour.

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