About us

The birth of the church

In 1843 the Rev. John Turner Colman Fawcett was appointed Vicar of Kildwick, where he remained for 24 years. During that time he saw the daughter church of St John’s in Cononley built, and he planned to build churches at Sutton and Steeton. In 1860 he obtained a curates licence for Steeton.

On 23rd August 1869 a lease of land at Carter Royd in Steeton was granted by John Wilkins to the Rev. Henry Salwey, Vicar of Kildwick (1868-1875). A temporary wooden structure was erected on the land. The building was set apart for divine worship on the afternoon of Sunday 10th October 1869 by the Rev. H. Salwey. A Sunday School was also held in the building. On 11th October 1878 a meeting of subscribers of the Steeton Church Fund was held in the Wooden Mission Room, to initiate a Building Committee for the building of a permanent church in Steeton.

The wooden building was used for church services until the new church was built and wooden building was consecrated in April 1881. Part of this wooden church still survives and is being used as a joiner’s workshop in Crosshills.

The building of the church

In the Autumn of 1879, a piece of land called Little London adjoining Elmsley House (now known as High Hall) was bought for £500 from Mr Garforth’s Trustees. The site was ¾ of an acre in extent and was to be used for building a permanent church in Steeton. Messrs. T.H. & F. Healey of Bradford were appointed to be the Architects for the new building. The Foundation Stone was laid by the Rev. Herbert Todd, Vicar of Kildwick, on February 28th 1880. The stone can be seen inside the church at the base of the chancel arch on the south side of the church, near the lectern. The cost of building the new church, including the purchase of the land, was about £3,700. The tradesmen appointed to construct the building were as follows:

Mason: John Rhodes of Baildon
Carpenter and Joiner: Robert Wade of Silsden
Plumber and Glazier: T. Lambert of Haworth
Plasterer: Thomas Riley of Sutton Mill
Slater: Thomas Thornton and Son of Bingley
Painter and Decorator: J. Hindle of Steeton
Clerk of Works: G.H. Elliot of Lightcliffe

The style of architecture is Early English, and the church is built entirely of stone, which was mostly obtained from Strikes Delf, above Sutton. The church would have accommodation for about 270 people when it was first built. The principal feature of the church is the tower and spire which together rise to a height of 96 feet, on each face of the belfry stage are two light windows. Lucarne lights are placed on the cardinal bases of the spire. The tower contains one bell, but it has been arranged so that it will hold a full peal of bells.

The edifice forms a double rectangle and consists of a nave 60 feet by 22 feet, a chancel 30 feet by 18 feet, a south transept 16 feet by 12 feet and a vestry on the north side of the chancel. The tower is situated at the south east side of the church above the organ.


The history of St Stephen’s Church.


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