Thursday 27 June 2013

Happy 120th, the Anniversary of the Consecration of St John's Church, Cudworth, Barnsley

Today we went to see the local church - at the Cudworth Local History Group meeting a few weeks ago the chair, who is a regular churchgoer, had informed the group that in honour of the 120th anniversary of the church it would be open for visitors for a few hours each day in the week leading up to the celebration.  I have been living in Cudworth for nearly two years now, but hadn't managed to see the inside of the church yet, although I've been for quite a few walks around the cemetery or churchyard attached.  I arranged to meet up with LL, the main history researcher for the group so that I wouldn't have to brave the lion's den alone.  As it happened the OH was also able to accompany us - he is still recovering from his hospital trip last week and has been off work for a few days.

At the very end of the post I linked above I mentioned the idea of buying the microfiche copies of the parish records and the local non-conformist records too if we can to provide the Cudworth History Group with a full set for reference.  LL and I thought our visit to the church might give us the chance to ask the incumbent if he could give his permission for the Group to buy the copies from the Archive Service.  I was also quite keen just to see the inside of the church, as it was where the OH was baptised.
A colour photo of a small church from the north side - there is a chancel and a porch, no tower or spire, but a little bell tower? at the junction of the nave and the chancel roofs. In the foreground is neatly mown grass and a few old gravestones
St John's Church, Cudworth taken recently

The OH and I walked up to the church in good time and decided to take the opportunity to snap some more gravestone pictures for Billion Graves.  He has put the app on his new Samsung 3 phone where it works in, as far as I can see, exactly the same way as on my Samsung tablet.

By the time LL arrived we had taken around 30 pictures each, although I had decided that I would take two pictures of each grave, one close up for the inscription and one at a little distance so the whole grave and its context was included.  So that will only be about fifteen transcriptions that need doing on the main website.  
A greyscale photo from an old postcard of St John's Cudworth from the South West, a good view of the West window and the bell tower at the far end of the Nave roof. The war memorial is to the left
St John's Church, Cudworth from an old postcard

We were greeted by two very friendly ladies as we entered the church, they gave us a printed guide leaflet and jumped straight into showing us the church's treasures.  St John's was built 1892-3 on land given by Mr Andrew Montague of Ingmanthorpe Hall, Wetherby; before this Cudworth had been in Royston parish.  The church was consecrated on 29th June 1893.  A full description of the establishment and history of the church can be found in 'Cutha's Worth: The Social and Local History of Cudworth' by K.E. and C. Gorman (2007).
Photo of a commemorative crucifix with inset enlargement of detail on brass plaque - see caption
Cross commemorating the loss of Bernard Jaques Joyner
in France 30 July 1916
Regular fundraising events over the years provided parish rooms and an organ for the church and donations and bequests from local people have furnished the church with some beautiful items.  Little brass plaques abound commemorating the gifts, on the door as you enter the church, the candle stick by the font (presented to the church in 1962 along with the font cover), on a crucifix in the Lady Chapel (a dedication to a soldier who died in the First World War), on the wall at the rear of the chancel and even on a picture on the wall.  
Father David in clerical dress holding out a brass plaque.
Father David Nicholson showing us the dedication plaque from the pulpit

The Parish Priest Father David Nicholson made a special effort when he realised how interested we were and went to find the memorial plaque that had been on the pulpit prior to its removal from one side of the nave to the other.  
A double stained glass window showing St Michael and St George
Stained glass window commemorating Cyril Barraclough
serving in the RAF who died 3rd November 1943

There are some lovely stained glass windows dedicated to local men killed in the Second World Wars and others given by local families to remember lost loved ones.
Small highly decorated religious image in wooden frame.
Russian style religious icon
I was impressed to see an Eastern style icon on one window sill, the leaflet noted that it was given to a Fr Bell, who had been a curate at the church, whilst he was serving as a chaplain in the First World War by a Russian sea captain in thanksgiving for his ship having been spared sinking.

The recent baptism and marriage registers were on display in the church.  The chair of the Cudworth Local History Group was able to look up the baptisms of her grandchildren in the 1990s. Older records have, of course, been deposited at the Archives, but we did ask Father Nicholson if he would give us the necessary permissions to buy microfiche copies and I believe he agreed in principle.
View of the church wall from inside the church hall, tables laid with photographs for browsing and display of wedding layout.
The church hall is built against the south side of the church and is lovely and sunny

After we had finished the tour of the church we went through into the new church hall for a cup of coffee (or tea) and a browse through lots of photographs of the congregation at various events over the years.  Trips to Walsingham seem to be popular - it is a place of pilgrimage for Anglican churchgoers.  We even found a newspaper cutting with a picture of on of the OH's relatives being presented with a prize at a church fundraising event.  He quickly took a photo of the photo for me to add to his family tree!

What a lovely afternoon - and everyone was so friendly, really nice.

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