Emmanuel Church at Dawn
During the 19th century the population of this country grew rapidly and the Church of England was having difficulty in providing churches for so many people. Parliament made grants available for setting up new parishes and building new churches. Wealthy landowners were quite prepared to donate the odd acre of land on which these new churches would be built.
ln 1852 one acre of land was given by Thomas Richard Shipperdson and lsabella Margaret Appletree for the building of a parish church in Shelley.
Car Boot style sale in South Aisle. New lighting and no pews to get in the way.
Grants were received from the Ripon Diocesan Church Building Society, the Huddersfield Church Extension Society and the lncorporated Society.
The foundation stone of the new church was laid by the 5th Earl of Dartmouth, William Walter Legge who lived from 1823 – 1891, on 23rd August 1866. The church was dedicated by the Lord Bishop of Ripon on 9th September 1868.
The building, as with many Victorian village churches, is of a simple design built of local stone. The building work was done by Moorhouses of Kirkburton.
The general plan of the church includes an entrance porch, nave, chancel, vestry and south aisle.
Over the years Emmanuel Church has been altered to suit the worship patterns of the time and at the same time becoming more accessible to the people of the village and surrounding area. The most recent alterations in the south aisle were completed in January 2011 .
Clock Tower and Plaque
The tower is in two stages with a battlemented parapet and cornice and is covered with a pyramidal roof, so often found in village churches of this time. It rises above the entrance porch to a height of 60 feet. The bell chamber is approached by stone steps leading from the porch. Six bells were installed when the church was built.
The present tower clock was installed in 1935, to celebrate the diamond wedding of Mr and Mrs E Auckland.
The tower houses a ring of 6 bells. The heaviest, the tenor, is 10cwt-3qr-23lb in weight and the bells are tuned to a pitch of G.
They were cast in 1868 and installed at the time the church was built. They arrived from the foundry (John Taylors of Loughborough) by train to Shepley station from where they were brought by horse and cart to the church for installation.
Over the years maintenance has had to be carried out and some moving parts replaced, but essentially they are the same as when they were installed.
Today the bells are rung regularly for services, both for Sunday service and for special services such as weddings.
The practice is on Friday evenings at 7:30pm and anyone is welcome to come along.. just to see or to learn. Bellringing can be done by anyone from aged 10 to 80+. Contact the churchwarden for further details.