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Sharing the love of God – that simple message sums up the mission of the two church communities who make up the parish Holy Trinity, Bingley with St Wilfrid’s, Gilstead in the Diocese of Bradford. Visitors to our churches will find a loving, caring and welcoming community.
The parish was formed in 1868 – separated from the ancient parish of Bingley - with the building of the old Holy Trinity Church, a large Gothic edifice, designed by the famous Victorian architect Norman Shaw, that dominated the skyline in the south end of Bingley until it was demolished in 1974 because the structure was unsafe.
The much smaller current church was opened the following year on the site of the demolished and serves not just as a place of worship, but a venue for the wider community, notably Trinity All Saints CE Voluntary Aided School, which adjoins the church.
The oldest part of the school was opened in 1871, three years after the church was built and was extended seven years later. These oldest parts of the school are Grade 11 listed.
The school, which has been extended and altered several times since those early days, has seen the number of pupils double in the last five years and at the end of 2012 Bradford Council gave planning for new classrooms, replacing temporary accommodation. Ultimately, it will become a two-form entry school catering for 450 pupils from nursery to the age of 11.
The Church of England presence in the hill top village of Gilstead began with a ‘navvies mission room’ in 1886. This building served workers, who were constructing a Bradford Corporation filtration plant nearby. The ‘navvies’ left when their work was completed, but a new church was needed to meet the growing population and in 1906 the present St Wilfrid’s Church, built in the Gothic style was opened.
Since those days, Gilstead and the neighbouring village of Eldwick have expanded rapidly and both villages are popular residential areas. Behind St Wilfrid’s Church there is a church hall serving not only the church, but also wider community. Originally a First World War Nissan Hut, the hall has been improved considerably over the years and now offers up-to-date facilities for its many users.