History of St. Barnabas’ Church, Heaton
The church of St. Barnabas, Heaton, was erected in 1863 on a site given by the Earl of Rosse, who also contributed £200. The principal contributor appears to have been a Mr. Benjamin Wood of Frizinghall who, at a cost of between £500 and £600, erected the tower and spire.
The church originally consisted of nave, south aisle, and chancel with semi—circular apse and organ chamber; tower and spire. The architectural style is French-Gothic of the early thirteenth century. The cost of the church was about £2,800.
The white stone reredos was erected in 1889 to designs of Benjamin Payler of Leeds who executed the work. The cost was £120 and appears to have been defrayed by the church.
The Peal of Bells, recast in 1966 by Messrs. John Taylor and Co. of Loughborough was installed by Messrs. J. Shaw and Co., Founders of Bradford in August 1891, the gift of Frederick Illingwoth of Heather Bank, Heaton. Mr. Illingworth added the vestry, made additions to the chancel and “at great expense … reconstructed the organ in the church on the electric principle.” (There is further information about the rebuilding of the organ available in church).
Also the gift of Mr. Illingworth, the North Aisle of the church was erected in 1895/96 and dedicated by the Bishop of Ripon on December 19th 1896.
The extension of the chancel step and the provision of space for a side-chapel was undertaken in 1970 as a consequence of a legacy from Francis Gamble, parishioner, of Marriners Drive. The side chapel furnishings were completed and the chapel dedicated on the eve of St. Simon and St. Judes day (the church’s Dedication Festival) 1971 by the Bishop of Bradford.
A number of improvements were undertaken at the time of the centenary of the church. The most substantial was the addition of a new clergy vestry. The pews were stripped of the dark varnish with which they had been painted and the lighting was renewed.
Of the ten stained glass windows, five are of notable origin, having been made by the London firm of Charles Kempe. Two of these (one in the north aisle and one in the south aisle) are marked by the wheatsheaf-and-tower symbol of the firm (which, after Kempe’s death in 1907, was continued by his cousin, Walter Tower; hence the addition to the wheatsheaf of Kempe).
The other three, a related trio of windows in the sactuary, in memory of Mary, Countess of Rosse, were made during the period of Kempe’s best work. They are unmarked by the wheatsheaf but the Rosse estate records show them to be by Kempe.
The policy of the church is to replace opaque windows with antique reamy clear glass as funds become available. An interesting example of partial replacement is the window on the north side of the chancel where only the central figure remains in colour.