The Story of St. Philip’s Church, Sheffield (A Centenary Record) 1828 -1928 by Canon W. Odom

 

The Story of St. Philip’s Church, Sheffield
(A Centenary Record) 1828 -1928
by Canon W. Odom (printed in 1928)

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

 

 

NOTE BY THE AUTHOR

This booklet, written in response to a request by the Vicar and Council of St. Philip’s Church, will, it is hoped, not only revive memories of the past and be an additional link in the long chain of local history, but also help to deepen the interest of its readers in the work and needs of a large and exacting parish. It is now nearly seventy years since I first saw St. Philip’s Church. All the vicars, with the exception of the first, have been known to me, and some of them have been amongst my intimate friends. It is hardly possible to realise the vast changes that have taken place since St. Philip’s parish was first formed. Brief notes are given of its four daughter parishes, together with sketches of its former vicars, whose portraits have been re-produced from those now on the walls of the ante-church. It has been truly said that the prosperity of a Church depends largely upon its connection with the past; that, whilst not the slave, it is essentially the pupil of the past, and that lessons are learnt alike from its failures and successes. A hundred years have passed since St. Philip’s Church was opened. May I venture to express the hope that the beauty of the restored and renovated Sanctuary may exceed that of its past, and also, before all things, that in its higher spiritual and social activities it will ever be a faithful witness to God and His truth, and go on from strength to strength, bringing forth fruit to the glory of God and the welfare of worshippers and parishioners alike. W. ODOM Lindum Lodge,Psalter Lane, Sheffield,June, 1928

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FOREWORD BY THE BISHOP
It is with great pleasure that I write a Foreword to Canon Odom’s last contribution to the Church life of the City of Sheffield. The Church and Diocese owe a great debt of gratitude to him for the way in which he has given much time in handing down for all future generations correct knowledge with regard to the fabrics and Church life of our city. This last booklet is both accurate and interesting. It gives a picture of the vast changes which a hundred years have wrought in one of the great cities of the Empire. We of this generation can hardly realise that the great parish Churches of Sheffield are comparatively young, and that they started their existence amongst green fields and steep slopes covered with trees, where now there are only long lines of artisan dwellings interspersed with vast industrial works. Bishop Lightfoot once said that “the study of history is the best cordial for a drooping courage.” The brave efforts now being made by the people of St. Philip’s are only one more illustration of that undoubted truth. The thanks of the parish are due to Canon Odom for his historical account of a parish which I hope will always be second to none in the enthusiasm and vigour of its Church life. I remain,Your sincere friend and Bishop,LEONARD H. SHEFFIELD Bishopsholme, Sheffield,7th June, 1928.

STONES THAT SPEAK
Stones still speak, and this is what St. Philip’s Church is saying to us today. “Yes, I am very old, my Hundreth Birthday is on July 2nd, 1928, but I hope to live a long time yet. I started life with a great flourish of trumpets. People flocked to see me, and only those who had tickets could get inside. The Archbishop was there and all the rich and influential folk of Sheffield. They drove up in their carriages from miles around. It was a great service, the music was supplied by a band of fifteen instruments, and the collection came to £47 15s 7d. Can you wonder that I sometimes sigh for the good old days when I stood almost surrounded by fields, and Upperthorpe was the best part of Sheffield. Now I have lost my high position; no rich people worship within my walls. I am surrounded by factories, the smoke from whose chimneys has covered me inside and out with grime. In spite of all, however, I am not downhearted, for I know that many who do not often come still have a very warm corner in their hearts for me, having perhaps been brought to me as babies to be baptised, and having been married within my walls. I have had a great past, and look for a still more useful future. Will you make me a real big Birthday Present ?”

Surely these words may form a fitting introduction to a brief record of the life and work of St. Philip’s during a hundred eventful and changeful years.

PEEPS AT THE PAST
On referring to a plan of Sheffield by John Leather in 1823, shortly after the building of St. Philip’s began, we find Roscoe Place marked at the junction of Shales Moor, Penistone Road and Walkley Road – now Infirmary Road. Beyond Dun Street and the end of Green Lane there were few buildings save a grinding wheel, until Philadelphia Place was reached. Here was another wheel, a tilt, and some scattered dwellings, whilst a little beyond were the old barracks. A few houses with large gardens were at Upperthorpe, which at that time was beginning to be a pleasant and favourable residential district. here lived the Master Cutler, Mr. John Blake, who in 1832 laid the first stone of the new Cutlers’ Hall; he died of the plague the same year. Blake Street bears his name. Another resident of Upperthorpe was Ebenezer Elliott, the “Corn Law Rhymer,” who in 1834, after removing his business from Burgess Street to Gibralter Street, rented a house which was afterwards known as “Grove House,” probably that once occupied by the late Master Cutler, John Blake. In 1841 Elliott went to live near Barnsley, in a house he built there.

What the neighbourhood of St. Philip’s was like a few years before the Church was built, is seen from a fine engraving from a painting of 1798, taken from about Portmahon, and showing the back of the Infirmary, reproduced in the Centenary History of the Infirmary. A large chromo by the late W. Ibbitt, entitled “The Valley of the Don,” gives a good idea of St. Philip’s parish as it was in the year 1856; in it St. Philip’s Church, the Infirmary, the Barracks, the Railway Viaduct at Wardsend, and the River Don are prominent.

The late Mr. R.E. Leader in “Sheffield in the Eighteenth Century,” tells us what that side of the town was like a few years before St. Philip’s Church was consecrated:-

At the bottom of Allen Lane land had been sold for the erection of another of the “water houses” in connection with the springs and dams at the White House, Upperthorpe; and here, as at the Townhead Cross, water was sold by the bucketful or barrelful. …Then a riding school, afterwards utilised as the Lancasterian Schools, was erected at or near to the old bowling-green…Beyond, Shales Moor was an open waste, over which the road, recklessly broad, meandered on its way to Owlerton and Penistone. The present Infirmary Road was represented by rural Whitehouse Lane, and from it, about where Lower St. Philip’s Road or Montgomery Terrace are, Cherry Tree Lane wound up with indecisive curvings to Causey Lane, by which the wayfarer could reach Upperthorpe; or retracing his steps towards the town, could return by a footway past Lawyer Hoyle’s house at Netherthorpe, on the line of the modern Meadow Street to “Scotland.”

The following extracts from “Old Sheffield,” by Mr. R.E. Leader, describe the neighbourhood early in the nineteenth century:-

Allen Lane and the Bowling Green marked the extremity of the inhabited region of Gibralter. Beyond, the road ran between fields – Moorfields – and on to the distant rural haunts of Philadelphia and Upperthorpe. There was Lawyer Hoyle’s house up on the left; and the little barber’s shop, just before you come to Roscoe Place near the junction of the Infirmary and Penistone Roads, was alone in its glory until 1806, when Mr. Shaw built the stove-grate works, and with his partner, Mr. Jobson, laid the foundation of that trade which has obtained for Sheffield the manufacture of stoves and fenders previously claimed by Edinburgh and London…. Watery Street was a rural lane with a stream running down it….Allen Street, at that point of it across the Brocco, was only a highway, without any houses, so that there was a clear space and view from the top of Garden Street to the Jericho. This view included Mr. Hoyle’s house (Hoyle Street), which then stood enclosed in what, perhaps, might be described as a small park. At the back of this house was a row of high trees, serving as a rookery, where the birds built their nests, and around which they might be seen taking their serial flights. the narrow lane, now called Burnt Tree Lane, was then the road from Allen Street to Portmahon in which there was a white painted pair of gates, with the carriage way running in a straight line to the front door of the house.

THE “MILLION” CHURCH BUILDING ACT
During the long reign of George III, 1760-1820, the lack of church accommodation was most manifest. Not only had the population greatly increased, but it had also become more concentrated in large centres, and provision for the working classes and the poor was altogether inadequate. Influence was brought to bear upon the Prime Minister, Lord Liverpool, and in the year 1818 a Parliamentary grant of £1,000,000 was voted for Church building in populous centres, to which another £500,000 was subsequently added. Side by side with this a great voluntary effort was made, and in 1817 the Church Building Society was formed, with the result that, including the one million and a half granted by Parliament, about nine millions was expended on Church Extension in the course of a few years. One result was that on March 28th, 1820, a meeting was held in the vestry of the Sheffield Parish Church (the Rev. Thomas Sutton being the vicar), to consider the proposal of building three new Churches. Ultimately four were built under the Act – Attercliffe, St. George’s, St. Philip’s and St. Mary’s. The population of the town was then 65,275, comprising 14,100 families

THE CHURCH BUILT
St. Philip’s Church, the second of these “Million Act” Churches, occupies a prominent position at the foot of Shales Moor, between Infirmary Road and Penistone Road. When built it was on the outskirts of the town. What is now a mass of intricate streets and closely packed houses, extending for some miles and climbing the Walkley hills, was then a well -wooded rural district with scattered dwellings at Upperthorpe and Philadelphia. The Infirmary, close by, had been built thirty years before on the Upperthorpe meadows, amid attractive open surroundings.

The style is Gothic, on a plan similar to that of St. George’s, although it is considered somewhat inferior to that Church in its architecture, nor does it occupy so commanding a position. The architect was Mr. Taylor, of Leeds. It is a lofty and massive building with a tower at the west end. The clerestory has five windows on each side; the nave has embattled parapets with pinnacles.

The interior has a gallery running round three sides; that at the west end projects into the tower and contains the organ. the pulpit, prayer desk and clerk’s desk were formerly grouped together in the centre of the nave. The lofty pulpit is on the north side, whilst the choir, formerly in the west gallery, occupies the stalls in front of the chancel.

The Church is 95 feet long and 78 feet wide. When built it afforded accommodation for 2,000 persons, but the number of sittings has since been reduced to 1,600 by the erection of the choir stalls and the cutting off at the west end of an ante-church or vestibule twenty feet wide, part of which now forms the choir vestry. The contract for the Church, including incidental expenses, was £13,970. Hunter gives the cost as £11,960. the cost of the gas fittings was £183, and that of the warming apparatus £125.

The site – one acre and two roods – formerly part of the Infirmary lands called the “Hocker Storth,” was given by Mr. Philip Gell, of Hopton, Derbyshire, a cousin of the Rev. James Wilkinson, Vicar of Sheffield, and who had inherited a moiety of the Broomhall estate. the Church was dedicated to St. Philip as a mark of esteem to Mr. Gell, whose christian name was Philip, and the first stone was laid by him on September 26th 1822. Owing to the contractor not being able to fulfil his contract and the death of the architect, the Church was not opened until July 2nd, 1828, when it was consecrated by Archbishop Vernon Harcourt. A special hymn by James Montgomery, who was present at the consecration, began with the lines:

 

Lord of Hosts! to Thee we raise
Here an house of prayer and praise;
Thou Thy people’s hearts prepare,
Here to offer praise and prayer.Let the living here be fed,
With Thy Word, the heavenly bread;
Here in hope of glory blest
May the dead be laid to rest.

The Rev. Thomas Sutton preached the sermon from 1 Kings ix, 3: “I have heard thy prayer and thy supplication, that thou hast made before me: I have hallowed this house, which thou hast built, to put my name there forever; and mine eyes and mine heart shall be there perpetually.” An immense congregation included leading families of the town, in addition to which visitors drove up in their carriages from miles round. There was an imposing procession from the gates of the old Parish Church to St. Philip’s Church, headed by a band of fifteen performers. Here is a letter of July 26th, 1828, from the Rev. Thomas Sutton, Vicar of Sheffield, to Mr. Jobson, which reads: “The bearer is Foster, the leader of the band, who has a demand upon us for £5 which you will be pleased to pay him.” With the letter is a list showing that there were fifteen performers, with five clarionets, two horns, one bass horn, one serpent, one trombone, one trumpet, two flutes, one double drum, one key bugle.

At the east end is a large stained window containing fourteen memorial panels representing our Lord the central figure, the twelve Apostles and St. Paul. The two lower sets of five each bear the following names: Robert Johnson, Churchwarden, 1828; Mary Elliott Hoole, John and Mary Livesey; Maria Rawson; Elizabeth Frith; Charles & Elizabeth Atkinson; Joseph Sims Warner, Churchwarden, 1845; George & Elizabeth Addey; William Frederick Dixon, Churchwarden, 1831; William & Emma Kirk.

The Church bell, by Thomas Mears, of Whitechapel, London, which cost £150, was set up in December, 1832. The clock in the tower, with three very large illuminated dials, made by Mr. Lomas, of Sheffield, the cost of which was raised by subscription, was opened in January, 1847. At the time an interesting correspondence took place, in which the Gas Company was asked, on the ground of public utility, to supply gas gratuitously, as was the case with the clocks of St. Peter’s, St. Paul’s and Attercliffe. the Directors of the Company replied to the wardens that the request could not be complied with, but that the Company would supply the clock with gas after the same rate as the public lamps of the town.

The Church has a fine brass eagle lecturn, and a small plain stone font occupies a place at the east end of the north aisle. Two oak prayer desks are “dedicated in loving memory of the Venerable Archdeacon Eyre.” The silver communion plate includes a very large flagon on which is engraved “St. Philip’s Church, Sheffield, 1828,” two patens, and two chalices. On the walls of the ante-church are the portraits of former vicars. In the vestry is a fine set of ten old oak chairs, two with arms elaborately carved; also a very fine iron casting of de Vinci’s “Last Supper,” presented by Mrs. Bagnall.

 

 

MEMORIALS

There are mural memorial tablets to the Rev. John Livesey, for thirty-nine years incumbent, who died August 10th, 1870, and his three wives, Sarah, Emily, and Mary. It is recorded that Sarah was the widow of Francis Owen, incumbent of Crookes, and shared his labours and perils as the first missionary clergyman to the Zulus and Betchuanas of South Africa. There is also a tablet to Frances Wright, a sister of Mrs. Livesey.

In the south aisle is a white marble tablet to the Rev. James Russell, M.A., “for eleven years the faithful pastor of the parish,” who died on January 12th, 1882, aged fifty-one years. The tablet, erected by the congregation, records his last words: “I know whom I have believed.”

In a window in the south gallery are stained glass panes representing King David, with musical emblems, and inscribed: “In memory of Thomas Frith, organist of this Church, born April 17th, 1808, died April 5th, 1850.” On a pillar near the choir is a brass to Joseph Beaumont, who died on July 7th, 1903, for twenty-four years choirmaster and organist of the Church, erected by members of the choir as “a tribute to his musical ability, his faithful labours, genial disposition and blameless character.” Another brass commemorates Edward Law Mitchell, for twelve years choirmaster and organist of the Church, who died November 18th, 1915, aged thirty-eight – “erected by congregation and choir.” At the west end, on a pillar, is a brass to Charles Marriott, who died September 28th, 1849, in his fourteenth year – “One of the first set of boys of the choir of this Church established A.D. 1848 – erected by his fellow choristers.”

On the south side of the chancel is a brass with the inscription:- “To the glory of God and in memory of the Rev. Ernest Vores Everard, M.A., Vicar of this Church, 1912-1917, the Electric Lighting of the Choir and Church was installed in 1920.”

In the churchyard is a prominent monument to Dr. Ernest, who died on November 16th, 1841. He had been house surgeon to the General Infirmary from its commencement – forty-four years – and was the author of a booklet published in 1824, on the origin of the Infirmary.

 

 

SITTINGS

In 1828 it was decreed by the authorities that amongst other things two pews should be reserved for the vicar and his family and another for his servants; that 800 free sittings should be provided for the use of the poor; the remainder to be let at yearly rents and assigned as a fund for the stipend of the minister. The pews were divided into two classes. In 1847 the 1st class were let at 12/- per sitting, and the 2nd class at 10/- per sitting. In the early years the seat rents averaged £250 per annum, but they gradually declined, and in 1918 seat rents were abolished and the sittings declared to be free and open.

The population of St. Philip’s in 1921, including persons in the Royal Infirmary, was 15,968. The Vicar of Sheffield is patron of the benefice, the annual value being set down at £400, of which £183 is from the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, £100 from the Sheffield Church Burgesses and £11 13s. 8d. from Queen Anne’s Bounty. The Churchyard, closed for burials in 1857, is now laid out and planted with shrubs for public use under the Open Spaces Act. In 1924 long strips of the same, from eight to ten feet wide – altogether 583 square yards – were taken by the Corporation for the widening of Infirmary Road and Penistone Road; the Corporation undertaking to erect new boundary walls with palisading thereon to the two new frontages.

 

WARDSEND CEMETERY

In June, 1857, the Rev. John Livesey, anticipating the closing of the Churchyard, conveyed five acres of ground at Wardsend to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners for a new burial ground, which was enclosed and a lodge and Chapel erected at a total cost of £2,600. It was consecrated by Archbishop Musgrave on July 5th, 1859, the greater part of the cost having been defrayed by Mr. Livesey. In 1901 the Cemetery was enlarged by the addition of two acres of land, and several improvements were made to the buildings.

 

IMPROVEMENTS AND RENOVATION
In 1847 a large sum was spent in repairing and enlarging the organ, at which on the re-opening Mr. Thomas Firth presided. The preachers were the Rev. G.B. Escourt, Rector of Eckington, and the Rev. E.S. Murphy, one of the chaplains of the Sheffield Parish Church and lecturer of St. Philip’s. In 1879 a considerable sum was spent in improvements.

In 1887 the Church again underwent extensive repair and improvement at a cost of £1000. The uncomfortable narrow high-backed pews were lowered and sloped, and fitted with rug seating. the organ was re-built and enlarged by W. Hill & Sons, the original builders. At the re-opening in June the preachers were Archdeacon Blakeney and Canon Favell. Dr. Bridge, organist of Westminster Abbey, presided at the organ. Collections £55 10s. 0d.

In 1894 £600 was expended in renovation; further improvements were made in 1899 at a cost of £300; and in 1903 the organ was again repaired at a cost of nearly £100. In 1927 a new warming apparatus was fixed in the Church at a cost of £425. the effect of bringing the choir from the west gallery to new choir stalls at the east end of the nave, and other alterations reduced the number of sittings from 2,000 to 1,600.

 

CHURCH REGISTERS
The registers of baptisms and burials at St. Philip’s Church date from 1828 and that of marriages from 1848. At those times and long afterwards by far the larger number of baptisms and marriages took place at the old Parish Church. The baptisms there in 1829 being 1,955 and the marriages 798. At St. Philip’s in 1828 there were three baptisms. In 1829 the baptisms numbered 27, and the burials 420. In 1830 there were 15 baptisms, and 201 burials. In the year 1927 there were 148 baptisms and 96 weddings. At Wardsend Cemetery were 86 burials.

THE ORGAN
In the year 1840 – September 30th and October 1st – a large and costly new organ, by W. Hill & Sons, of London, was opened. A copy of the advertisement in the “Sheffield Mercury” announcing “Cathedral Services” on that occasion is before me:-

Dr. Wesley, of Exeter Cathedral, will preside at the Organ. Principal Vocalists: Miss Birch, Mr. Francis, of St. Paul’s Cathedral, Mr. Pearsall and Mr. Machin, of Lichfield Cathedral. The Choral Department will be sustained by a numerous and effective body of singers. In addition to the full Cathedral Services there will be a Grand Selection of Sacred Music from Handel, Haydn, Beethoven, Greene, Cooke, Travers, Kent, and the Wesleys.

Prices of tickets- MORNING: Reserved Seats 7/-, First Class 3/6, Second Class 2/6. EVENING: Reserved seats 5/-, First Class 2/6, Second Class 1/6.

Miss Birch, of London, was “in the highest grade as an English singer.” She sang the following Selections by Handel: “Holy, Holy, Holy,” “What though I trace,” “Farewell ye limpid streams,” “Bright Seraphim,” “I know that my redeemer Liveth,” “Angels ever bright and fair,” and “With verdure clad.”

 

PAROCHIAL BUILDINGS
The Day and Sunday Schools in Hoyle Street were built in 1832, at a cost of £1,200, by subscription and Government grant. They were subsequently enlarged, and more recently a considerable sum has been expended on alterations and improvements. the site is leasehold for 789 years at a ground rent of £10 15s. 0d. per annum.

THE VICARAGE -
In 1858, the Governors of Queen Anne’s Bounty purchased at a much reduced price from Mr. Livesey, his freehold house and garden at Upperthorpe, as a parsonage for St. Philip’s. After a time it was found unsuitable for the vicar’s residence, and the Rev. John Darbyshire, during the seventeen years of his vicariate, lived at Claremont. When the Rev. J.W. Merryweather entered upon the incumbency in 1898, the house was improved and enlarged at a cost of over £600.
EVERSLEY HOUSE -
In 1919, the valuable freehold house and grounds comprising 1,052 square yards of land known as Eversley House, at the corner of Upperthorpe Road and Oxford Street, was given to St. Philip’s by Mr. James Wing, steel manufacturer. After extensive alterations and furnishing, carried out at a cost of £2,000, it was opened as a Club and Institute for men, women, boys and girls, and is constantly in use for social, educational and temperance work, Bible classes, and other parochial purposes. It is held for the parish by the Sheffield Diocesan Trust.
SPORTS FIELD -
this, near Coal Pit Lane, Wadsley Common, was acquired in February, 1924, at a cost of £375, to be used for social and recreational purposes by the parishioners and congregation of St. Philip’s. It is held in trust by the Sheffield Diocesan Trust.
THE OLD CLERGY HOUSE -
In 1864, the late Miss Rawson, of the Hawthorns, Crooksmoor, conveyed to the governors of Queen Anne’s Bounty in trust for the incumbent of St. Philip’s, her former residence at Philadelphia on the Penistone Road, with the surrounding grounds, for many years used as a residence for the curate. This was sold many years ago and the proceeds invested to augment the income of the benefice.

PARISH BOUNDARIES
When in 1848 St. Philip’s was constituted a separate parish, it covered 834 acres with a population of 8,340, and included Portmahon, Upperthorpe, Walkley, Barber Nook, Philadelphia, Owlerton, with parts of Hillsborough and Malin Bridge. Its southern boundary extended from the river Don along Dun Street, Matthew Street, part of Meadow Street, Netherthorpe, Watery Lane and up Dam Lane, as high as the old footpath, with a wall on either side, which led across Crookesmoor Valley to Steel Bank, and which divided St. Philip’s parish from that of Crookes.

The present boundaries are the river Don, Dun Street, Matthew Street, Meadow Street, Watery Lane, Burlington Street, Bond Street, Ashberry Road, Birkendale Road, Daniel Hill Street, Woollen Lane, Edith Street, West Don Street to the river. The boundary line runs down the centre of each street.

 

FOUR DAUGHTER CHURCHES
St. Philip’s has now four daughter churches – St. Mary’s, St. John the Baptist’s, St. Bartholomew’s, and St. Nathanael’s – with a combined population of 45,838 which, with that of the mother church, 15,968, gives a total of 61,805, an increase probably of 60,000 since St. Philip’s was consecrated:-

 

St. MARY’S, WALKLEY,
was constituted a parish in 1870. In 1861 a Mission Church, consisting of two bays and a chancel, was built in Howard Road by the Rev. J. Livesey, at a cost of £1,000. The Sheffield Church Extension Society (No: 1) having taken up the matter by completing the nave, adding two aisles, and a broach tower with spire, at a cost of £3,200, the Church was consecrated on August 6th, 1869, by Archbishop Thomson. Near the choir stalls is a plate with the inscription: “To the glory of God and in memory of the Rev. Thomas Smith, for thirty-two years vicar of this parish, who died on March 10th, 1901, these stalls and pulpit were erected by his parishioners and personal friends.” Near to the Church are extensive schools and parochial buildings.St Saviour’s Church, Whitehouse Road, with 320 sittings, consecrated by Archbishop Lang in March, 1913, as a Chapel of Ease to St. Mary’s, cost £4,150. In the Rivelin Valley is the Church Cemetery of seven acres. Population, 15,276. Patrons, trustees. Value £550. Vicar, the Rev. Thomas Michael Archer, M.A.
St. JOHN THE BAPTIST, OWLERTON,
built at a cost of £6,300, of which £2,000 was provided by a legacy from Miss Rawson, was consecrated by Archbishop Thomson on July 29th, 1874. It consists of nave, aisles and chancel, with a slender bell tower, and contains 600 sittings. In it are several stained memorial windows. A fine Parish War Memorial Hall, erected at a cost of £5,000, was opened in 1926. Population, 15,297. Patrons, the Church Patronage Society. Value £400. Vicar, the Rev. Harry Holden, M.A.
St. BARTHOLOMEW’S, LANGSETT ROAD,
comprising nave, chancel and aisles, with 640 sittings, was consecrated by Archbishop Thomson, on February 6th, 1882. The cost, including site, was about £5,000. In the Chancel is a memorial tablet to Benjamin Brandreth Slater, the first vicar. The parochial buildings and schools on Primrose Hill were built in 1890 at a cost of £2,000. Population, 10,790. Patrons, the Church Patronage Society. Value £400. Vicar, the Rev. William Retallack Bellerby.
St. NATHANAEL’S, CROOKESMOOR,
mainly due to the late Canon J.W. Merryweather, vicar of St. Philip’s, a stone building consisting of nave only, is 100 feet long and 30 feet wide. Built at a cost of £6,000, it was a Chapel of Ease to St. Philip’s and served by its clergy up to 1912, when the parish was constituted. The Church was consecrated by Bishop Hedley Burrows, on December 20th, 1914. The Parochial Hall is near the Church. Population 4,475. Patrons, the Sheffield Church Burgesses. Value £425. Vicar, the Rev. Samson Richard Butterton.

 

INCUMBENTS AND VICARS
WILLIAM DRAYTON CARTER, M.A.,was, in December 1827, appointed by Dr. Sutton as the first minister of St. Philip’s, but nothing is recorded of him. As his successor was appointed before the Church was consecrated it is probable that he did not enter upon the charge.

 

THOMAS DINHAM ATKINSON, M.A.,a former fellow of Queen’s College, Cambridge, became incumbent in June, 1828. After a short ministry of three years he resigned in July, 1831 on his preferment to the vicarage of Rugeley, Staffordshire.

 

JOHN LIVESEY M.A.,of St. John’s College, Cambridge, curate to the Rev. Charles Simeon, was appointed incumbent in July, 1831, and held the office for the long space of thirty-nine years. He was a tall man of fine presence, very active, and, as his after eventful ministry proved, a man of war. I well remember, in my early years, going to see him at his pleasant home in Wadsley Grove on some legal business. St. Philip’s parish then included the districts of Hill Foot, Owlerton, Walkley and Upperthorpe in addition to a large district near the Church, with a total population of 25,000. The Church has become the mother church of four other distinct parishes, namely, St. Mary’s, Walkley; St. John the Baptist, Owlerton; St. Bartholomew’s, Langsett Road; and St. Nathanael, Crookesmoor. Of these, Walkley was founded by Mr. Livesey, he having secured the site in Howard Road, and raised £1,000 by subscription for a Mission Church, which now forms part of St. Mary’s Church. In June, 1862, there was great excitement, accompanied with rioting, at Wardsend Cemetery, in consequence of reports that bodies had been sold for dissection by the sexton, whose house was burnt down. Mr. Livesey, who had at his own cost purchased and laid out the cemetery, unhappily became mixed up in the prosecutions that followed. Charged with giving a false certificate of burial, he was committed for trial at York Assizes, and sentenced to three weeks imprisonment. Resolutions of sympathy were passed, and in August a free pardon was granted to him. He successfully asserted in the Court of Queen’s Bench the rights of the incumbents of the district Churches to the fees arising from marriages as against the Vicar of Sheffield; at another time he had a warm controversy with the War Office on the question of the chaplaincy to the Barracks. He died on 11th August, 1870, in his sixty-seventh year. Mr. Livesey introduced into St. Philip’s Church what were known as “Cathedral Services,” with a surpliced choir. The following notes are from an article by a Sheffield journalist, “Criticus,” who was present at a service on a Sunday morning in 1869:

There was the choir at the top of the centre aisle, and there were the choristers, ten nice little boys in white surplices, five on each side, and six men, all in surplices. the singing and chanting were unquestionably good. There was nothing higgity-jiggity about the tunes, anthems, or music. The congregation did not join in the response very extensively……..The service was conducted by Mr. Livesey, whose style of reading is easy, fluent, rather rapid and somewhat familiar. In the pulpit he wore his academic gown, having never worn his surplice when preaching since 1847, when his wardens presented him with an address, thanking him for giving it up. The text was four words, “Enoch walked with God,” and the sermon occupied sixteen minutes. In private life Mr. Livesey is a very worthy and estimable character. he is genial, benevolent and kind hearted. he has a just and enlightened apprehension as to what is due to his position as incumbent or vicar of St. Philip’s, and has on several occasions sacrificed himself to uphold great principles. Like Job, Mr. Livesey has had to “endure affliction,” and, as in the case of that patriarch, his “latter end” yields a redundant return of peace and plenty. Sitting under his own vine and figtree in the pleasant retreat of Wadsley Grove, none daring to make him afraid, he rejoices in the esteem of his friends and parishioners.

 

JAMES RUSSELL, M.A.,formerly vicar of Wombridge, who died on January 12th, 1882, in his fifty-second year. He was a diligent pastor and an active promoter of parochial organizations. He was instrumental in the building of St. John’s Church, Owlerton, and lived to see a further division of the parish, St. Bartholomew’s, Langsett Road, the Church of which was consecrated shortly after his death. “In general Church work he was wont to take a leading share, displaying great business capacity along with religious zeal, and lived to see one of the largest congregations in the town at the evening services at St. Philip’s.”

 

JOHN DARBYSHIRE, M.A.,vicar of St. Paul’s, Wolverhampton, was appointed vicar in 1882. Here is a characteristic letter from Archdeacon Blakeney the patron to the wardens of St. Philip’s, on the appointment of Mr. Darbyshire, who was his brother-in-law: “I have much pleasure in informing you that the Rev. J. Darbyshire, vicar of St. Paul’s, Wolverhampton, has accepted the living of St. Philip’s. I believe you will find him all that you could desire. In making this appointment I have been solely guided by the requirements of the parish, and I pray that the divine blessing may accompany it in the extension of the Redeemer’s Kingdom.” Mr. Darbyshire was a genial and earnest pastor, highly esteemed by his parishioners and a wide circle of friends. In 1898 he became vicar of Doulting, Somerset, where he died on December 22nd, 1919, at the age of seventy-two.

 

JAMES WHITE MERRYWEATHER, M.A.,vicar of Carbrook, Sheffield, who for twenty-three years had been vicar of Carbrook, Sheffield, was appointed vicar in 1898. To him was mainly due the Church of St. Nathanael, Crookesmoor, a daughter Church of St. Philip’s. He remained at St. Philip’s until 1912, when he became vicar of Fulwood, where, after much suffering, he died on May 6th, 1916, at the age of seventy. He was a faithful minister, an able and fearless preacher of the gospel, a diligent bible student, a zealous educationalist, and an uncompromising protestant. He was canon of Sheffield Cathedral.

 

ERNEST VORES EVERARD, M.A.,vicar of St. James’, Sheffield, was, in 1912, appointed to St. Philip’s. “He was a liberal Evangelical in his views and methods, and had a straightforward, breezy style, and an unruffled geniality, which gained him popularity wherever he went. He was a hard worker, and could sing and play the piano well. Some people knew him as the ‘singing parson.’ ” He died with startling suddenness on January 14th, 1917, at Newcastle, as he rose to address a gathering of soldiers.

 

HENRY CECIL, A.K.C.,curate of the Cathedral Church, was in 1917 appointed to the vicarage of St. Philip, where he remained until 1926, when he was preferred to that of St. Barnabas, Sheffield.

 

ERNEST WILLIAM SELWYN, M.A.,of Queens’ College, Cambridge, and Ridley hall, curate of St. George’s, the present vicar, was appointed in 1926.

ASSISTANT CURATES
1836-1838 G.M. CARRICK
1839-1844 JOHN GWYTHER
1850-1851 G. EASTMAN
1852-1855 A.B. WHALTON
1855-1860 J.F. WRIGHT
1861-1862 WILLIAM MARSHALL, became rector of St. Paul’s, Manchester, 1871
1863-1867 C. SISUM WRIGHT, vicar of St. Silas’, Sheffield, 1869-78; vicar of Doncaster, <1878-1903; Canon of York, died 1903.
1866-1870 CRESWELL ROBERTS, left in 1870 for Marston Magna, Somerset.
1867-1870 H.J. BARTON, formerly a missionary in India.
1871-1874 W.G. FERRY, deceased.
1875-1897 C.R. KILLICK, vicar of Holy Trinity, Runcorn, 1897-1923, retired.
1878-1882 C.J. PARMINTER, deceased.
1880-1881 J.P. CORT, vicar of Sale, Cheshire, deceased.
1882-1892 J. TURTON PARKIN, vicar of Wadsley, 1894-1902, died 1902.
1898-1899 S.R. ANDERSON, now incumbent of Lisnaskea, Co. Fermanagh.
1899-1911 T. COWPE LAWSON, now vicar of Castle Bytham, Grantham.
1899-1906 P.H. FEARNLEY, now vicar of St. Luke’s, Formby, Liverpool.
1906-1909 R.N. DEWE, now vicar of Balne, near Snaith.
1911-1912 S.R. BUTTERTON, now vicar of St. Nathanael’s, Sheffield.
1913-1915 T. STANTON, now vicar of St. Matthew’s, Wolverhampton.
1915-1917 T.H. PRIESTNALL, now vicar of Whittle-le-Woods, Chorley.
1917-1919 F.L. PEDLEY, now vicar of St. Oswald’s, Little Horton.
1921-1923 H. CARD, now curate-in-charge of St. Hilda’s Conventional District, Thurnscoe.
1924- J.M. BORROW

THE SCRIPTURE READERS
Include the late Mr. W. Whitehead, who was a Reader for nearly forty years, Mr. Jackson, and Mr. Goddard who died in the Church when about to read the lesson.

CHURCHWARDENS, 1828-1928
1828 ROBERT JOHNSON
1831 W.F.DIXON J. WATSON
1832 W.F.DIXON J. WATSON
1834 PAUL BRIGHT JOHN JACKSON
1836 R. YEOMANS
1840-2 CHARLES F. YOUNGE W.I. HORN
1841-2 H. WHEAT W.I. HORN
1842-3 HENRY WHEAT DANL. GREENWOOD
1843-5 DANL. GREENWOOD Wm. BADGER
1847 JOSEPH WARNER JAMES KIRKMAN
1848-59 Names not available
1860 EDWARD BROWN FRED MAUNDER
1863-4 FRED MAUNDER – GARLAND
1868-9 R.W. MARSHALL A. BUCKLE, B.A.
1870-3 J.L. COCKAYNE EDWARD BROWN
1873-7 THOMAS BIGGIN JOSEPH PICKERING
1877-80 EDWIN LEADBEATER JOSEPH PICKERING
1880-1 EDWIN LEADBEATER C.E. DICKINSON
1881-4 EDWIN LEADBEATER H. ELLIOTT
1885-9 EDWIN LEADBEATER W.H. BARNES
1889-91 EDWIN LEADBEATER H. ELLIOTT
1891-2 C.E. DICKINSON H. ELLIOTT
1892-3 JOHN SUTTON CHARLES BURGON
1893-5 CHARLES BURGON C.E. DICKINSON
1895-1900 W.P. KENYON H. GREGORY
1900-3 W.P. KENYON C.E. DICKINSON
1903-4 G. JOHNSON C.E. DICKINSON
1904-11 C.E. DICKINSON JOHN BARBER
1911-12 JOHN BARBER E.B. WILKINSON
1912-13 J.W. ILIFFE W. WILD
1913-14 E.B. WILKINSON W. WILD
1914-15 H.B. JACKSON W. WILD
1915-24 J.F. MITCHELL W. WILD
1924-5 W. WILD W.B. STATHER
1925-7 W. WILD A. DIXON
1927-8 J.F. MITCHELL A. DIXON

ORGANISTS
THOMAS FRITH, 1840-1843
F.J. LEESON, 1843-1845
J.E.NEWTON, 1845-1847 (possibly longer)
GEORGE LEE, 1866-1877
SAMUEL SUCKLEY, 1877-1879
JOSEPH BEAUMONT, 1879-1903
E.L. MITCHELL, 1903-1915
Mr. ELLISS, 1916-1917
Mr. DYSON, 1917-
IRVIN SENIOR,Mr. MILLINGTON, 1920-
T, WILLIAMS, 1920-1923
J.T. WATSON, 1923-1928

CHURCHWARDEN’S ACCOUNTS
On going through a bundle of old Churchwardens’ accounts in the early years of St. Philip’s I found many of much interest. Here is one wholly in Montgomery’s handwriting. After an item for printing 5,000 hymns and prayers for foundation laying at St. George’s, at 2/- per 100, £5, follow those relating to St. Philip’s:
March 19th, 1822, advertising contracts wanted for new Church of St. Philip’s 10/2.
September 24th, dinner on laying foundation of St. Philip’s Church 7/-.
Ditto, procession 11/6.
Ditto, thanks to Freemasons 7/-. Printing 500 hymns ditto, 13/-. Other items bring the total to £10 12s. 2d. The account was paid by Mr. Rowland Hodgson, on September 22nd, 1826. Amongst other accounts are the following:
July 1828, H.A. Bacon, 19, Angel Street, printer and publisher of the Sheffield Independent, for advt. opening of the Church, etc. 15/6.
March 1828, to George Ridge, printer, Stamp Office and Mercury Office, King Street, £3 10s. for printing tickets, receipts, and 2,000 bills “pews to let.”
July 1828, to John Blackwell, the Sheffield Iris, £1 12s. for advertising consecration and sermons.
July 1828, to J.C. Platt & Co., printers and booksellers, Courant Newspaper Office, 6, Haymarket 16/-, advt. “pews to let.”
August 1833, to Porter and Taylor, 7, High Street, for communion wine, “one doz. very rich old port £1 18s.” Others include payments to organists and singers, e.g.-
January 1845, £20 to J.E. Newton “for one year’s services as Organist.”
December 1843, £6 5s. to J.F. Leeson, “a quarter’s salary as Organist.”
May 1833, 15s. to John South “for singing ten Sundays at St. Philip’s Church.” The sum of £11 14s. 11d. was paid to the Sheffield Gaslight Company for gas during 1842; and in 1845, £2 17s. 8d. to Joseph Scorthorne for “6 tons 17 cwt. of coal at 6/6 per ton.”

CHOIR RULES
Here are rules made about 1834, “to be observed by the choir in order to promote the more regular attendance and to preserve the respectability of the choir of singers assembling at St. Philip’s Church”:-

  1. That the time of practice shall commence at eight o’clock in the evening and conclude at nine, or a quarter past.
  2. That on each night of meeting those not attending at eight o’clock shall forfeit a penny, and for non-attendance to forfeit twopence.
  3. That the forfeits to be paid into the hand of the clerk, and the gross amount at the end of each year to be expended at a meeting of the choir in such manner as shall be agreed upon by the majority.
  4. That on Sundays, if any of the choir are absent at the commencement of service, they shall each forfeit one penny; if absent half a day to forfeit threepence each, and if the whole day to forfeit sixpence each.
  5. That sickness only shall be cause of exemption from the above forfeits.
  6. That the clerk is requested to keep a book in which he will enter the attendance and forfeitures respectively.

These rules agreed to, and signed by Paul Bright and John Jackson, Churchwardens, James Lee, William Horsfield, Wm. Lee, George Gill, Wm. Whitehead, Sarah Heald, Elizabeth France, and Mary Ann Smith.

THE INFIRMARY
Almost opposite to St. Philip’s Church are the extensive buildings of the Royal Infirmary (formerly called the General Infirmary). The first block was built in 1797. It was on part of the Infirmary estate, which had been acquired in exchange by Mr. Philip Gell, that St. Philip’s Church was erected. In September, 1849, a sermon in aid of the Infirmary was preached in the Church by Dr. Musgrave, Archbishop of York, the collection amounting to £92 10s. The Infirmary now contains 500 beds, and in 1927 had 6,237 in-patients, 22,727 out-patients; in addition to which 20,213 accidents and emergencies were treated. The chaplaincy was for many years held by the vicars of Walkley, but in 1927 the present vicar of St. Philip’s was appointed that post.

THE BARRACKS
The Sheffield Barracks, amongst the finest in the kingdom, standing on 25 acres of land, and fronting Langsett Road, completed in 1850 in place of the old barracks were then in St. Philip’s parish. Before the garrison Church was built the officers and soldiers used to march with their band to St. Philip’s Church every Sunday, when the Church was usually full. Here is a story of those days.Mr. Robert Jobson, one of the founders of the stove-grate works at Roscoe Place, near to St. Philip’s, was a regular attendant at the Church. It is said that he was the last Sheffielder to adhere to the old fashion of wearing his hair in a pigtail or queue. One Sunday as he sat in his pew, he became conscious of some movement behind him, and detected an officer of the 3rd Light Dragoons in the pew behind, pretending to cut the pigtail by moving his first and second fingers as if they were scissors. Mr. Jobson said nothing, but the next day called at the barracks, and interviewed the commander, Lord Robert Manners. The military joker got a good wigging, and made an ample apology, accompanied by a contribution of £5 to the Infirmary. In January 1834, the wardens of St. Philip’s received from the War Office a letter enclosing thirty shillings as an annual subscription from the War Department for Church expenses, in addition to the rent of the pew occupied by the officers.

THE GREAT FLOOD
St. Philip’s parish suffered severely in the terrible flood of 12th March, 1864, which involved the loss of 240 lives, the flooding of 4,000 houses, and immense destruction of property. I well remember some of the sad scenes I witnessed at that time. The lower side of the parish from Hillsborough to Shales Moor, felt the full force of the flood. The waters touched the walls of the churchyard, and amongst those who perished were a large number of residents in the parish. The Rev. Charles Sisum Wright, afterwards vicar of St. Silas, Sheffield, and subsequently vicar of Doncaster, was curate of St. Philip’s, and lived at Philadelphia House near the Don. He related how the flood rose considerably above his garden wall which was eight feet high. When day dawned the garden was covered with a thick layer of mud in which was embedded a horse, which the flood had carried from its stable over the garden wall. It had on its halter to which a heavy stone was attached. Although much exhausted it ultimately recovered.

Such is the story of St. Philip’s, its beginnings, growth, and work, during the first hundred years of its existence. it has filled a large niche in the history of our city. What of its future ? This, under God, depends in great measure upon the earnest, prayerful, and self sacrificing efforts of its workers and worshippers. As we survey the past with its many changes, we may look to the unknown future with unabated confidence and hope.
We live in a new age, an age of opportunity, when the Church of God is confronted with new forces, faced with new and difficult problems, and called upon to make new sacrifices. Amid greatly changed conditions and with special needs, the Clergy, Wardens and Council of St. Philip’s boldly, and not without confidence, ask for a Centenary Birthday Gift of £2000.The sum of £1,000 is desired for new choir stalls and communion rails, new chancel pavement, and a new reredos worthy of the fine Church at a cost of £425, of which £100 is yet required. £200 is needed for extensive repairs to the roof, pointing of the stone work, and new fall-pipes, already partly carried out. £250 is needed for renovating and decorating the interior of the Church, besides which a considerable sum is wanted for the improvement of the organ including pneumatic action and an electric blower. To meet all these needs, most of which are urgent, self-sacrifice and generous gifts are called for.

May St. Philip’s long continue to be a burning and a shining light amid the thousands of busy workers by whom it is surrounded, and also a faithful witness to the Truth of the Eternal Gospel of the Grace of God as revealed by the great Head of the Church, our Lord Jesus Christ, Who is the “same yesterday, and to-day, and for ever.”

THY KINGDOM COME
Composed by James Montgomery, for St. Philip’s Bazaar, May 1850

———— Send out thy light and truth, O God !With sound of trumpet from above ;Break not the nations with Thy rod,But draw them as with cords of love :Justice and mercy meet.Thy work is well begun,Through every clime, their feet,Who bring salvation, run ;In Earth as Heaven, Thy will be done. Before Thee every idol fall,Rend the false Prophet’s vail of lies ;The fullness of the Gentiles call,Be Israel saved, let Jacob rise ;Thy Kingdom come indeed,Thy Church with union bless,All scripture be her creed,And every tongue confessOne Lord – the Lord of Righteousness. Now for the travail of His soul,Messiah’s peaceful reign advance ;From sun to sun, from pole to pole,He claims His pledged inheritance ;O Thou Most Mighty ! girdThy sword upon Thy thigh,- That two-edged sword, thy Word,By which Thy foes shall die,Then spring, new-born, beneath Thine eye. So perish all Thine enemies ;Their enmity alone be slain ;Them, in the arms of mercy seize,Breathe, and their souls shall come again :So, may Thy friends at length,Oft smitten, oft laid low,Forth, like the Sun in strength,Conquering to conquer go :-Till to Thy throne all nations flow.

HOURS OF SERVICE
SUNDAYS—Morning Service at 11: Evening Service at 6-30.Holy Communion at 8 a.m. every Sunday; 11a.m. 1stand 3rd Sundays, and 7-45 p.m. 4th Sunday. Children’sService at 2-45 p.m. 1st Sunday.

WEDNESDAYS—Holy Communion at 7-30 a.m.Intercessions and Address at 7-45 p.m.

SAINTS DAYS—Holy Communion at 7-30 a.m.Holy Baptism and Churchings: Sundays, 4 p.m.Wednesdays, 7 p.m.Marriages: By arrangement any weekday.

CLERGY:
The Rev. E.W. SELWYN, M.A., Vicar, the Vicarage, 104, Upperthorpe.The Rev. J.M. BORROW, A.K.C., 43 Oakland Road, Hillsboro’.Hon. Diocesan Reader—Dr. H. Caiger, F.R.C.S., 79, Upper Hanover Street.Lady Worker—Miss C. Goddard.Organist & Choirmaster—Mr. J.T. Watson, 32, Conduit Road.Churchwardens—Mr. J.F. Mitchell and Mr. A. Dixon.Parochial Church Council—Secretary, Mr. E. Cook, 75, Wynyard Road;Treasurer, Mr. A. Lofthouse, 85, Meadow Street.Verger—Mr. W.C.H. Wood, 34, Matthew Street.Sunday Schools, Hoyle Street and in the Church.Bible Classes for Young Men and Young Women, Eversley House.Day Schools, Hoyle Street—Headmaster (Mixed Dept.) Mr. M. Green,278, Granville Road. Headmistress (Infants’ Dept.) Miss Thompson,105, Burngreave Road.

 

EVERSLEY HOUSE.
Clubs for Men and Girls, etc. OtherParochial Organisations include the Church of England Men’sSociety, the Mothers’ Union, Girls’ Friendly Society, Women’sFellowship, Boy Scouts and Wolf Cubs, Girl Guides and Brownies,Children’s Church, Band of Hope, Football Club, Church MissionarySociety Branch, Church Pastorial Aid Society Branch.

Centenary Commemoration Services. During June a Crusade was conducted by past Curates of St. Philip’s,who preached each Sunday and held Open-air Services.

 

BIRTHDAY WEEK
Sunday, July 1st, 11 a.m., The Ven. the Archdeacon of Sheffield. The Master Cutler (Percy Lee, Esq.) willattend. 6-30 p.m., Canon F.G. Scovell. The Lord Mayor ofSheffield will attend. Monday, July 2nd, 8 p.m., Canon TrevorLewis. Sunday, July 8th, 11 a.m., The Lord Bishop of Sheffield.Special R.A.O.B. Parade. 6-30 p.m., Rev. E.W. Selwyn, Vicar.

 

GARDEN FETE
on Saturday, June 30th, 8 to 10 p.m. at BannerCross Hall, Ecclesall, (by kind permission of David Flather, Esq.)Opener, Mrs. J.W. Fawcett, Chairman, Samuel Osborn, Esq. A BAZAAR, will be held in the Cutlers’ Hall, on October 18th,19th and 20th, 1928.
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The Story of St. Philip’s Church, Sheffield (A Centenary Record) 1828 -1928 by Canon W. Odom — 12 Comments

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