Show of Hands tour – St Wilfred’s, Harrogate

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Date(s) - 27/10/2017
7:00 pm - 10:30 pm

St Wilfred's Church


Show of Hands at St Wilfred’s, Harrogate with special guest Kirsty Merryn on 27th October 2017

For tickets contact the box office on 0114 223 3777 or visit

Please note this venue has unallocated seating. Unrestricted and restricted view seats are available

Not a cathedral, but a beautiful church which just fits the bill perfectly for this tour.

For over a 100 years there has been Christian worship at St Wilfrid’s Church. It was built to serve the expanding Duchy Estate at the turn of the century. A plot of land was earmarked and a fund started by a gift of £200 given to the Vicar of St Peter’s. Incoming funds were slow and sparse, and a deadline of two years created a certain sense of urgency in the fund raising. A Mr Lockwood left £3500 which would provide the £150 stipend needed for and incumbent. Undaunted by the undeveloped site Fr. William Fowell Swann took up the challenge and on St Bartholomew’s Day 1902, the first congregation gathered in a temporary corrugated iron building that came to be known as the “Tin Tabernacle”. Meanwhile contributions both large and small flowed in from many devout people the largest being that from Elizabeth Sophia Trotter. This is her story:-

In 1902 Miss Trotter and her sister Jean broke their train journey from London to Scotland at Harrogate. They stayed overnight at a boarding house where, tragically, Miss Jean whilst praying at her bedside died suddenly and was found next morning . As a result “Miss Bessie” decided to make her home on the Duchy Estate where she became the chief subscriber to the fund raising, as a memorial to her sister. As a result of her munificence and generosity, funds for a much grander church than was at first envisaged became available, and she continued to contribute throughout the building of the church.

The commission to build St Wilfred’s was given to Temple Moore, an eminent architect of the time, and work began. Until the First World War intervened, only the Nave was used with a westwards facing congregation. Work continued after the was but tragically the life of its creator did not. He died suddenly in 1920 leaving his son-in-law Leslie Moore to complete the building which he did more than competently, adding the Lady Chapel, the Holy Spirit Chapel, Hall and Verger’s Cottage.

About the author: Kirsty Merryn