St Philip’s, Scholes - The Old Chapel. Part 1 - THE EARLY YEARS Back to the Main Historical Society page
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St Philip’s, Scholes - The Old Chapel.


In his book, The Ancient Parish of Barwick-in-Elmet published in 1970, Rev.Norman Butcher, the Rector of Barwick, writes:

In 1873 the need for a church in Scholes became so apparent that the Rector exchanged six acres of land for £300 and half a rood of Colonel Gascoigne’s land situated on the south side of the main street, almost opposite Scholes Hall. Accordingly a mission church was built and licensed for worship on September 9th 1875, and provided accommodation for 75 at a cost of £417.13s.4d. It consisted of one room with an entrance at the west end of the north wall and is described in the Ripon Calendar of 1876 as a neat and substantial structure of stone from the designs of Mr E Birchall, architect of Leeds.

The Rector at the time of the building was Rev. Charles Augustus Hope (see The Barwicker No. 35), who has left us little written material on which to follow the history of the church at Scholes. When his successor, Rev. Fredrick Selincourt Colman, (see The Barwicker No.40) was appointed in 1899, he soon remedied this by publishing a monthly parish magazine, commencing January 1900. We have most of the magazines published in 1904 and 1905 and a few from other years in the decade 1900-1910. They are invaluable in describing the life of the parish at that time.

In 1900 we find that at St Philip’s, Holy Communion was celebrated on the 3rd Sunday of each month at 8.15am and Evensong with a sermon each Sunday at 6.00pm.

There was also Evensong with a sermon on Thursday evenings but this was discontinued in subsequent years. Although few details are given in the available parish magazines it is clear that a curate was in charge of the services and other activities in Scholes. There were four curates who served in the parish under the Rev. Colman (see The Barwicker No.81).

Rev. Henry Theakston Young 1898-1900
Rev. James Sidney Robertshaw 1900-1902
Rev.Matthew William Thackrah 1905-1907
Rev.Hubert Ellis Horton 1907-1909

Mr Arthur B Jessop was the Scholes churchwarden and his wife was the voluntary organist there. Sunday school met in the reading room twice on Sundays. Mr Jessop was superintendent and the teachers in 1901 were: Mr Maudson, Miss Barker, Miss K Chippindale and Miss E Crosland.

With the publishing of the first edition of the parish magazine it is clear that a few questions were asked about the name Rev. Colman uses for the church. In the edition for February 1900 he says:

Some have wondered why we speak on the cover of St Philip’s Church, Scholes. The name is not a recent invention. The little church, or, as it is technically called, chapel of ease, was dedicated to public worship on December 12th 1877, under the name of St Philip and St James. The double name is somewhat cumbrous for general use, and as we have St James’s Church at Manston and Seacroft, it seems better to speak of this by the name of St Philip only. It will add a little to its dignity to have a title of its own and it is so well valued and used that it certainly deserves it. Although some day a bigger and more important Scholes will want a bigger and statelier church, no place will be better loved and no services more encouraging that these are now."

A chapel of ease was a church, usually small, built in some outlying part of a parish which enabled people to worship without a long journey to the parish church. Often they were licensed for baptisms and burials but not weddings. None of these services were carried out at St Philip’s at this time.

In 1902, the church was enlarged using money raised by donations and activities for the Scholes Church Enlargement Fund. This however did not cover the whole cost and for several years further donations were received and included in the parish magazine. Then the edition of December 1905 records:

“It is a great pleasure to announce the completion of the Fund. The work of enlargement was done in 1902 when the present chancel, porch and vestry were built, and the bell turret and the hot water apparatus put in. The seating accommodation was practically doubled and the whole building vastly improved and beautified. We append a statement of the fund from its beginning to its close. It is a most useful work, and we owe much to the many friends who have laboured to carry it out. On Sunday, November 19th, the service was one of thanksgiving to God for finishing of the task”.
The accounts, somewhat abbreviated for the convenience of this article, are given below:

Receipts £ s. d. Payments £ s. d.
Col. FCT Gascoigne
(the late)
100. 0 0 Pullan Builder 161 14 11
Col. RCT Gascoigne 25 0 0 Tomlinson & Son
48 16 6
Rev.F S Colman 12 12 0 Lindley, Hot water Apparatus etc 31 0 3
Mr A B Jessop 6 0 0 Welham Painter & decorator 27 16 0
Sir Theo Peel 5 0 0 Green Nurseryman 5 0 0
Mr J Robertshaw 5 0 0 Furniture: Denby & Spinks 4 7 6
Mr Wm Budd (the late) 5 0 0 Monteith & Co. 2 7 11
Mr W E Farrar 3 0 0 Westmorland 7 6
Mr Thos. Nussey 2 2 0 Mr C Barker 13 5 0
Rev. J S Robertshaw 2 0 0 Bank charges 3 4 9
Mr J Farrar 3 0 0
22 smaller donations 13 8 0
Collections: 7 15 11
Sales 107 12 5
Totals 298 0 4 298 0 4

In addition to making a £1 donation and raising money by selling goods, Mr F Arnott in 1905: “has very kindly made a gift of some new Bibles to the Sunday School. The old ones were getting much dilapidated and these will take their place to the advantage both of teachers and scholars.

Money was a constant source of worry. The parish magazine of May 1904 gives the St Philip’s accounts for the year ending Easter 1904:

Receipts £ s. d. Payments £ s. d.
Balance Easter 1903 7 12 4 Cleaning Church 5 15 0
Offertories: Choir and Organ 2 12 6
Church expenses 12 16 3 Care of churchyard 16 0
Diocesan Societies 7 2 Fuel and oil 11 6
Central African Mission 13 5 Fire insurance 5 0
Parochial School 1 6 4 Church furniture 2 6 7
Sunday School treat 13 0 Cassocks & surplices 6 0 0
Diocesan societies 7 2
Central African Mission 13 5
Sunday School Treat 13 0
Parochial School 1 6 4
Totals 23 8 6 23 8 6

It is significant that no balance in hand is recorded at the end of the financial year. In the accounts for Barwick Church under ‘Offertories: Church expenses’ the sum of £61. 11. 11d. is recorded, a measure of the relative sizes of the congregations. Apart from the report that Mrs Jessop was the ‘voluntary’ organist, the item in the accounts is the only record at this time of the organ at St Philip’s. When the organ was installed – whether at the time the church was built or later – we do not know.

The parish magazine for February 1905 returns to the topic of money:

“For some months past there has been a falling off in the amount of the offertory, which is, perhaps, partly owing to the removal from the village of members of the congregation. It seems desirable to take an opportunity of mentioning the matter, because the Churchwarden is afraid that unless there is an improvement during the year he will not be able to make both ends meet.”

In late 1904 the Rev. Colman had a complete breakdown in health and he spent several months recovering in Rapallo on the Gulf of Genoa. During this time services at Scholes were taken by Rev. B G Wilkinson, the owner of the Potterton and Kiddal estates, and clergymen from other parishes. These included Rev. H E Crofts, vicar of St Matthews, Leeds; Rev R H Stansfield, vicar of St Agnes, Burmantofts and Rev. W T E Cary.

It was after services conducted at Scholes that this cheerful and confident report was printed in the magazine of May 1905:

The service on Good Friday evening at 7.0 was conducted by Rev.W T E Cary, and was well attended. On Saturday morning flowers were brought, and the church was tastefully prepared for Easter by the Misses Chippindale. At the same time Mr Arnott was performing the less ornamental but extremely useful task of rendering some of the windows on the weather side of the building water-tight from the outside; and the good effect of this was shown during the showery weather which followed, when not one drop of rain beat in.
At nine o’clock on Easter morning the Holy Communion was administered by the Rev. W T E Cary. 26 communicants were present, a good number considering that several who usually attend were absent for various causes. The Rev. F Lewis preached in the afternoon to a congregation rather above average in number. The Psalms and Canticles were taken to bright and jubilant chants, and the hymns were four of the best known Easter ones.”

One feels that despite its problems at this time, St Philip’s, Scholes, was in good hands.

Part 2 of the article
continuation Part 2 'The Old Church at Scholes'
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