About our Church

Accessibility

Our church is wheelchair and walking aid friendly. There are no steps when entering the churchyard from Church Lane, nor are there any on entering the church through to the worship space. Our seating has chairs arranged in arcs around the centre, and so we can easily make space for wheelchairs within the worshipping congregation.

If you would like to take Holy Communion but are unable to walk to the front, please let us know and we can arrange for the bread and wine to be brought to your chair.

We have an audio loop system operating in the whole of the worship space and we have a fully accessible disabled toilet.

If you're thinking of visiting and have any questions about accessibility or would like someone to help you into Church, please phone the Church office on 0113 257 7843 and we would be happy to help you.

Origins of the Church

The building of St. Lawrence Church

David Jenkins, a native of Cardiganshire, was just 27 years old when he came as incumbent of Pudsey's Chapel of Ease (All Saints) in 1814. Mr Jenkins was one of the first incumbents in the country to apply for a grant to build a new church under the 1818 Church building act. This act became known as the Million Act because a million pounds was made available for building new churches especially in the industrial north.

St. Lawrence, Pudsey was one of the first of these churches to be built and the third most expensive in the first Parliamentary Grant

Cost

The Commissioners had originally recommended a £6000 Church to accommodate 1500. Later they decided to build a larger Church holding 2000 for which they were prepared to pay up to £15,000.00. The final cost was £13,360.00.

The first stone was laid by Mr Jenkins on 19 July 1821. No expense seemed to have been spared. The use of Westmorland slate instead of local stone would have added much to the cost. The slaters appear to have come from Westmorland, as in the church graveyard is a headstone: In Memory of John Johnson, blue slater, a native of Bowness in Windermere who unfortunately lost his life by a fall at this Church on 6 April 1823 aged 23 years.

Even with a regular labour force of about thirty the building took three years instead of the estimated two.

The Consecration and after

The Church was consecrated by the Archbishop of York on 30 August 1824.

The morning was ushered in by the ringing of bells and a flag hoisted on the south west pinnacle of the steeple. It was estimated that 2500 spectators attended. When silence was obtained the Archbishop led the long procession up the aisle repeating the 24th psalm. Mr Jenkins preached from the text: This is the house of the Lord God (1.Chron xxii 1). Followed by the 100th psalm and Luthers Hymn

Information is taken from the Story of Pudsey Church by Ruth Strong, 1988, Copyright (C) Pudsey Parochial Church Council

Changes

It must be remembered that the original Georgian building was a very plain, austere one, with little ornament and intended to hold 2000 people on 2 levels.

The windows were of clear diamond leaded glass, the walls whitewashed and the floor stone flagged. Plain deal timber pews ran the full length of the nave, and extended across the nave and both the side aisles.

All five arch spans were therefore filled with pews, a total of 30 metres in length and about 22 metres in width (i.e. 100 feet long by about 75 feet wide).

The organ was high on the west wall above the gallery, accessed by a doorway that can still be seen as an indented arch. The only real ornamentation was the groined ceiling with plaster coving and bosses, and the plasterwork on the ceiling under the gallery. The upper ceiling was a change to the original design, resulting in a lower level than planned as can be seen in the way it cuts across the stonework at the top of chancel arch.

The changes

  • 1862 Heating system installed - this may have been the underfloor hot air system.
  • 1863 Heating system flue causes roof to catch fire.
  • 1870 Stained glass east window installed.
  • 1873 West wall organ loft removed and the Brindley & Fosters organ installed.
  • 1874 New reredos installed of 9 niches with Irish marble pillars. The old reredos was moved to a place above the west door.
  • 1877 Box pews removed and replaced with a more regular arrangement. The organ chamber, choir vestry and chancel were formed from the east bays of north and south aisles and the nave respectively. The front six rows of pews were removed to allow this. A porch was made for the west entrance, the pulpit lowered and decorated. The roof was painted "French grey striped with maroon" and the walls a "warm drab".
  • 1887 Building was made watertight, chancel floor raised and mosaic tiled, new choir stalls fitted and the chancel separted from the nave by a low screen of Bolton stone and a new Caenstone pulpit installed. The sanctuary floor was also raised and fitted with a blue marble step. Redecoration took place with such items as imitation mediaeval brickwork on the ceiling under the galleries and the chancel ceiling covered with gold stars and "broad Indian red lines".
  • 1899 Stained glass window of Faith & St Lawrence fitted to clerestory on south side.
  • 1900 A new heating system installed and the first stained glass window fitted to the nave.
  • 1910 The sanctuary Holy Table was replaced.
  • 1912 Oak communion rails installed.
  • 1919 Electric light installed.
  • 1924 Gallery fronts refaced with Austrian oak, organ renovated.
  • 1925 Refacing of clergy and choir stalls and three more stained glass windows.
  • 1926 Paintings on zinc, Lord Help Me and Watch and Pray fitted into niches in the chancel arch.
  • 1960 Redecorated and rewired, pendant light fittings being replaced with strip lighting.
  • 1963 Red carpet laid down the central aisle.
  • 1974 to 1988 - Creation of Narthex, redecoration, extension of chancel into the front of the nave. Creation of servery and toilet at the west end of the tower.
  • 1988 to 2001 - Roof repaired (twice).

Reordering of 2002

Pudsey Parish Church has been reordered several times since it was first completed and consecrated in 1824.

The latest reordering was completed in December 2002, at a cost of almost £500,000.

It has given the church a new, intimate shape to the worship space, comfortable chairs and a modern heating system. There is easy wheelchair and pushchair access to all the ground floor rooms. Three meeting rooms are available (two on the first floor), along with a kitchen, a special room for young children, plenty of toilets and a baby change station.

Before the re-ordering:

After the re-ordering:

The Brindley and Fosters Organ

THE BRINDLEY AND FOSTERS ORGAN

Situated at the north of the Church to the left of the chancel is our magnificent organ. Installed in 1873, it was made by Messrs Brindley and Fosters, Organ Builders of Sheffield and cost approximately £1,300. The quality of workmanship on this organ is outstanding, with huge pipes and wood carvings. The bellows were originally powered by steam but still needed the assistance of a blower. An electric motor now drives the air pump. The sound of the organ fills the whole of the church during our services.

Great Organ

Compass CC to G

  1. Double open diapason - metal - 16 feet
  2. Open diapason - metal - 8 feet
  3. Gamba - metal - 8 feet
  4. Rohr gedact - wood or metal - 8 feet
  5. Harmonic flute - wood and metal - 4 feet
  6. Principal - metal - 4 feet
  7. Twelfth - metal - 3 feet
  8. Fifteenth - metal - 2 feet
  9. Mixture 4 ranks - metal
  10. Posaune - metal - 8 feet

Pedal Organ

Compass CCC to F

  1. Major bass - wood - 16 feet
  2. Sub Bass - wood - 16 feet
  3. Principal Bass - metal - 8 feet
  4. Flute Bass - wood - 8 feet
  5. Quint Bass - wood - 10 2/3 feet
  6. Trombone - metal - 16 feet
  7. Trumpet Bass - metal - 8 feet

Swell Organ

Compass CC to G

  1. Lieblich bourdon - metal and wood - 16 feet
  2. Open diapason - metal - 8 feet
  3. Rohr gedact - metal - 8 feet
  4. Vox angelica - metal - 8 feet
  5. Wald flute - wood - 4 feet
  6. Principal - metal - 4 feet
  7. Fifteenth - metal - 2 feet
  8. Mixture 3 ranks - metal - 2 feet
  9. Contra fagotti - metal - 16 feet
  10. Cornopean - metal - 8 feet
  11. Oboe - metal - 8 feet
  12. Clarion - metal - 4 feet

Choir Organ

Compass CC to G

  1. Lieblich gedact - wood and metal - 16 feet
  2. Dulciana - metal - 8 feet
  3. Salcional - metal - 8 feet
  4. Gedact - wood and metal - 8 feet
  5. Flauto traverso - metal - 4 feet
  6. Lieblich flute - metal - 4 feet
  7. Piccolo - metal - 2 feet
  8. Clarionet and bassoon - metal - 8 feet

Couplers

  • Swell to great
  • Swell to choir
  • Swell to pedal
  • Great to pedal
  • Choir to pedal
  • Pedal action

10 composition pedals

Summary of Pipes

Great Organ - 728 pipes
Swell Organ - 772 pipes
Choir Organ - 436 pipes
Pedal Organ - 243 pipes

A Total of 2,179 Pipes

The church bells

A ring of eight. T. Mears of London. Fecit 1824.

Bell Pitch Weight Inscription
Treble F 5-0-10 James Hutton, William Denison, Churchwardens
2nd E 5-1-11 Praise Him on the Loud Cymbals.
3rd D 6-0-16 Venite Exultamus Domino.
4th C 7-1-6 Fear God and Honour the King.
5th B flat 8-0-16 This Church was built by His Majesty's Commissioners
This Peal of Bells was provided by subscription.
6th A 9-1-20 When Britons are with Laurels crowned, We'll make the Hills and Vales resound.
7th G 12-0-15 Mortals with us your voices raise, And shout abroad Jehovah's praise
Tenor F 17-0-13 All ye who hear my mournful sound, Repent before ye lie in ground

The eight bells were recast and rehung with partly new fittings A.D. 1957, by the Whitechapel Bell Foundry, London.

If you're interested in bell ringing at Pudsey, please email Susan Kelk at bellringers@pudseyparish.org.uk, or phone 07950 482920.
Practice night is on a Monday from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.
You can hear our bells here.  This was posted on Youtube by Briony, now an ordained minister, who originated from our church.

The band are members of the Yorkshire Association Of Change Ringers - this site also has brief ringing details for St Lawrence & St. Paul, Pudsey.

The church clock

Made by Potts of Pudsey (now Smith of Derby) and installed in 1864.

Towards the end of the 20th Century various (mostly electrical) faults occurred, so the chimes ceased to work.   The clock often stopped, which was found to be due to the pendulum catching on the casing that covers the pendulum in the room below the clock room.

As repairs were being assessed, it was discovered that it would require a replacement if the autowinder motors and mechanisms, and that the stone supports on which the mechanism was mounted had cracked.

In all, a total of about £11,000 was spent to complete all the necessary clock and structural repairs.

The St. Lawrence and St. Paul Parochial Church Council are grateful to the parishoners, Leeds City Council, Pudsey Borough Charity, and an anonymous donor for their grants and donations that have supported the PCC in effecting these repairs. We also want to thank the various companies involved in the repairs, especially Terry Hill of Potts.

The clock was restarted at 12 noon on Monday, 19th April 2007, following a short Prayer Service that was attended by our Local Councillors - Mick Coulson, Josie Jarosz and Richard Lewis, our clergy - the Revd. Paul Ayers and Revd. Andy Greiff, and a number of Church members.

Vicars of St Lawrence, Pudsey

David Jenkins: 1814 to 1854
Henry John Graham: 1854 to 1882
Robert Boyle Thompson: 1882 to 1894
George Dale Copeland: 1894 to 1905
Charles Owen French: 1905 to 1927
William Tomlinson Forster: 1927 to 1929
Charles Tremayne: 1929 to 1934
Frederick William Hopkins: 1934 to 1946
Edward George Manby: 1946 to 1956
John Vipond: 1956 to 1974
John Watson Waller: 1974 to 1988
Harry Maxwell Wigley: 1988 to 1996
Paul Ayers: 1997-2017
Richard Dimery: Current