For the first week of February we had a lovely week in a cottage near Settle. On Sunday 5 February I called in at St John the Evangelist in Langcliffe because we saw a notice saying “books in church”. Unfortunately the real book lover couldn’t get in (according to the website they have a portable ramp for services). The church is at SD 823650, the website is https://www.achurchnearyou.com/church/6902/about-us/, but there is a huge amount of architectural detail at http://www.english-church-architecture.net/n%20york%20l/langcliffe/langcliffe.htm.
Apparently the church “was paid for largely by John Green Paley J.P., a partner of the Bowling Ironworks Company and a member of the prominent Langcliffe family of that name, who owned much of the land around the village and who was consequently both an industrialist and a substantial landowner. He gave the site, £800 towards the erection of the church and £1,200 towards its endowment, and a grant of £230 was obtained from the Ripon Diocesan Church Building Society, which brought the money available for the church’s construction almost up to the estimated cost of £1,113 (The Leeds Intelligencer, 13th April 1850, p. 6). The foundation stone was laid on the 27th December 1850, and the finished building was consecrated on 29th September 1851 by Charles Longley, Bishop of Ripon.” I doubt their bookstall makes them a lot of money, but it keeps the place open and welcoming.
A simple and straightforward church. I like the way that every pew has an umbrella holder at the end – lots of Yorkshire rain!
Rather nice stencilling in the Chancel, and the parishes website tells us that “Our green altar-frontal has an interesting story – it was made from a dressing gown belonging to Lord Halifax, the former Viceroy of India.” The imagination boggles – and I wonder what my fellow members of the DAC (the Diocesan Advisory Committee, which advises the Chancellor about church buildings) would say if a parish said it was proposing a new altar frontal made from the dressing gown of a local Lord!
The Peace wall hanging was made by the village sewing group in 2019, and the other one by Eileen and Amy Coates for a 2018 production of “O what a lovely War”.
There is an interesting mix of stained glass – some typically Victorian, but rather nice when you look at them more deeply. The website gives more details. “The East Window depicts the main events in the life of Jesus together with various Christian symbols. The left panel shows the Adoration of the Magi with a dove above representing the Holy Spirit. The centre panel shows the Descent from the Cross after the Crucifixion and above is a pelican and her young (the pelican has been traditionally used as a symbol of sacrifice as legend says she feeds her young with her own blood). The right-hand panel shows the Ascension and above is the Paschal Lamb. … Above are angels playing harps and at the top a quatrefoil which includes the six-pointed Star of David. The Resurrection window shows Jesus appearing to Mary Magdalene after his Resurrection and was made by Powell of London. It was installed in 1914 in memory of Rev. Travers Macintyre and his wife. He was Vicar of Langcliffe 1864-79 and died at Bedford in 1912 aged 94. The modern window commemorates the centenary of the end of the First World War. It was designed and made by Ann Sotheran of York and installed in February 2019. The design includes a dove of peace, poppies for remembrance and snowdrops symbolising hope of new beginnings.
The Eagle remembers, and a memorial makes you wonder what Margaret Cecilia Dawson did for herself (quite a lot, no doubt, but only the man’s achievements need to be recorded).