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St Wilfrid's Halton

Selby Road, • LEEDS, West Yorkshire LS15 7NP • United Kingdom • • Anglican

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Parish Communion 9:30 am SUNDAY
Mass 10 am Tuesday
Mass 7 pm Thursday
Bingo 6 pm every Sunday

The Church of England serving the community of Halton

We are a welcoming, inclusive, warm and friendly congregation serving the local community.

We worship in the modern catholic tradition, with Eucharistic vestments (Common Worship Order One in modern language). Incense is used on Festivals. A mix of traditional and modern hymns is sung, accompanied by pipe organ or piano. Our service on the first Sunday each month is a youth mass with a music group. You will be made very welcome at any of our services.

Our striking and beautiful church building, completed in 1939, was designed by Randall Wells and has furnishings by Eric Gill and other artists.

See a map of our location on our Findachurch or A Church Near You pages.

Search for other churches with Findachurch | Netministries | Church Net UK | A Church Near You


We are sorry that our website does not currently show photographs. You can find historic pictures of St Wilfrid's and other places in Leeds on the leodis Database. Or see a more recent picture of St Wilfrid's and other Churches of Britain and Ireland on Steve Bulman's comprehensive website.

Our history

Our first church was a mission church on Chapel Street, a daughter church of St Mary at Whitkirk. The first building was erected in 1888 and dedicated as the temporary church of St Wilfrid in 1917. (It is now the Kingdom Hall of the Jehovah's witnesses, which was demolished and rebuilt in 2003.)

A conventual district was assigned in 1936 and the new parish was formally constituted on 28 July 1939. The foundation stone of the current building was laid on 6 November 1937 and the new church was consecrated on 13 May 1939. The two-manual organ, a gift from the redundant church of St Alban on York Road, was fitted circa 1940 by Binns, Fitton & Haley at a cost of 347.

George E Kirk and C Ian Pettitt, Past and Present: An adventure in pioneering (St Wilfrid's Church, Halton, Leeds 1940)

Search for historical information about other churches and chapels in Leeds with Leeds Indexers


1939 	1943 	Ian Pettitt (Priest-in-Charge from July 1936)
1944 	1961 	Ernest Southcott 
1962 	1978 	Kenneth Stapleton 
1978 	1986 	Robin Greenwood
1988 	1995	Graham Atherton 
1996 	2002 	Nicholas George 
2003 		Mark Heather 

Ernest Southcott

Ernest `Ernie' Southcott (1915-1976), Vicar from February 1944 to November 1961, played a leading part in the Parish and People Movement. His experience at Halton was the subject of his book The Parish Comes Alive, describing the need for a congregation to explore new `ways of being the Church' and the call for the church to go out (the Parish Magazine at the time was called Coming & Going). Several Home Communions were celebrated each week and the idea was to `bring church to the people'. Theological students, clergy and bishops came to see and experience the work being done, which was also the subject of a 1956 BBC television documentary.

Ernie Southcott was later Provost of Southwark Cathedral. His last post was as Vicar of Rishton, Lancashire.

Peter J Jagger, A History of the Parish and People Movement (Faith Press 1978)
Alistair Mason (Ed.), Religion in Leeds (Alan Sutton 1994).
Ernest W Southcott, The Parish Comes Alive (Mowbray 1956)

A Randall Wells, Architect

Arthur Randall Wells (1877-1942) had previously worked on notable Arts and Crafts churches, principally with WR Lethaby at All Saints, Brockhampton-by-Ross, Herefordshire (1901-2) and ES Prior at St Andrew's Roker, in Sunderland (1912). But his church of St Wilfrid, Halton (1937-39) is equally influenced by modernism. The visitor is impressed by tremendous space. Large expanses of clear glass within tall, stepped lancet windows allow light to flood high vaults and cast shadows on the plastered interior. `The result is memorable, though disturbing. It is possible to point to its indebtedness to the cubic form used by Lutyens in the 1930s, to German expressionism in the interior, and to a touch of the ubiquitous Scandinavian taste that was so admired' (Linstrum 1978). Wells also furnished much of his interior, notably with lively woodwork, incorporating shuttle and bobbin patterns.

The church interior has been successfully reordered (1981-87, under the architect Peter Hill) but many of Wells' original fittings have survived.

D Linstrum, West Yorkshire: Architects and Architecture (Lund Humphries 1978)
Nikolaus Pevsner & Enid Radcliffe, `Randall Wells', Architectural Review, November 1964
Nikolaus Pevsner (revised Enid Radcliffe), The Buildings of England: West Riding (Penguin 1989)

Search for `Wells, Randall' in Pevsner's Buildings of England

Eric Gill, Artist

Of note in the building is a statue by Eric Gill of St Wilfrid (ca 1939).

Other artists who have contributed to furnishing the church are:

Irene Payne (Irene Foord-Kelcey)
Sculpture: Jesus Offering the Church to his Mother (ca 1951)
Sculpture: Our Lady (1947)
Relief panels: Mysteries of the Rosary (1947)
Relief panel: Our Lord's Transfiguration (1950)

Ian Knowles
Painted icon: Madonna and Child (1987)

Evelyn Ross
Hand-woven fabric screen (1989)

Graham Atherton & Evelyn Ross, `The Woven Screen in St Wilfrid's Halton, Leeds', Church Building, Summer 1990
Graham Carey, `God's Darling'--Eric Gill in Yorkshire (Henry Moore Institute 1997)
Judith Collins, Eric Gill: The Sculpture (Herbert Press 1998)

Irene Payne (Irene Foord-Kelcey), Artist

We are currently seeking further information about this artist who was active at St Wilfrid's in the 1940s and early 1950s.

contact us if you have any information.

NB We are not `St WilfrEd's'!

Are you spelling our name correctly?

Please note that our spelling of St Wilfrid has two `i's (but there is a church in Halton, Lancashire dedicated to `St Wilfred').

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The Revd Mark Heather (0113 264 7000)

Helen Banks (0113 289 2668)

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