Celebrating the birth of the new Holy Trinity

Celebrating the birth of the new Holy Trinity
Palm Sunday 1974 was a day many of us will never forget – the day the old Holy Trinity Church was demolished.
 
The much admired Norman Shaw church had been closed for some six months because the authorities were concerned about its safety after discovering a long standing crack in the chancel wall had widened. We knew the date of the demolition and members of the congregation had spent the previous fortnight frantically salvaging as many precious items as possible from the church while explosives were attached to the walls ready for the fateful day. Nonetheless, it was still a shock to hear a loud thud and see our beloved place of worship collapse in a pile of rubble.
 
As always on these occasions, there were lots of sightseers and, it was as the crowds gazed at the huge pile of stones that was once our church that members of the congregation began a re-building operation.
 
Anglicans tend to be attached to their church buildings, perhaps more so that other Christians denominations and there was understandable sorrow, frustration and some anger at the demolition. All sorts of feelings welled up among the congregation. Could the church have been saved? Was it inevitable that it be demolished? Could the huge tower, the source of all the trouble after it had been added some 16 years after the church was opened in 1868, be taken down and the body of the church saved? The Victorian Society was among those, who campaigned for a solution to be found without demolishing the church.
 
The authorities thought such a solution couldn’t be found and so here we were going among the crowd with our collecting tins at the start of an intensive 18 month money raising operation to build a new church.
 
In worldly terminology it could be described as a fight back or, in spiritual terms, a form of resurrection.
 
There was a feeling that the Bradford Diocese were not totally committed to re-building on the site of the demolished church and would have been content for our two congregations to join in worship at St Wilfrid's.However, Holy Trinity members believed a church was needed alongside the school at our end of the parish and this view prevailed.
 
In the end, the diocese gave us a £1,500 loan and, to cut a long story short, we managed to raise £23,000 to build the church we enjoy today. It was a simple building, basically a steel frame filled with concrete with stone facing, but since then we have all worked hard to beautify the interior and make it the best we could to the glory of God. And, it must be admitted, that we would have found it increasingly difficult to light, heat and maintain a large Victoria church had the old Holy Trinity been saved.
 
The then Bishop of Bradford, Ross Hook dedicated the new church and we will celebrate the 40th anniversary of that memorable occasion on the anniversary day – Saturday, 5th of December - with a Sung Eucharist at 11 am followed by a lunch.
We are delighted that the vicar from those difficult days, Canon John Holford will preach at the Eucharist and we invite as many people as possible to join us.
 
David Markham


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