ALL SAINTS CHURCH
A BRIEF HISTORY
Who decided to build a church here and why?
Wars play a significant part in all our lives and it was in fact following the Battle of Waterloo in 1815, which ended the Napoleonic Wars that a movement gathered pace in England, for the building of new churches to commemorate the War victories. Of particular concern was the shortage of places for worshipers in the rapidly- growing towns of the West Riding of Yorkshire, where the cotton, and other industries, had attracted large numbers of migrants. So it was that in the Freemason’s Hall in London on 6th February 1818 a meeting chaired by the Archbishop of Canterbury formed the Church Building Society (CBS).
Parliament passed the Church Building Act in 1818 and voted £1,000,000 to the building of new churches, the Act became popularly known as the “Million Act”. In 1824 Austria unexpectedly repaid a £2,000,000 war loan, which the government had already written off; this windfall resulted in a further £500,000 being voted into the coffers of the Church Building Commission. In parallel with parliament efforts the CBS also raised funds by voluntary subscription towards the same purpose. The combined funds came to a total of over £3,000,000 and resulted in the building of 612 new churches, 106 of which were in Yorkshire, mostly in the West Riding. These churches became known as “Commissioner Churches”, “Waterloo Churches” or “Million Act Churches”.
This brief history is about one particular “Million Act” church…
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