Our History

Serving our community for over 170 years

We have been serving our local community for over 170 years, and we thank God for blessing us with such a long history. Here are some facts and figures. We are always interested to hear your stories or memories of St. Andrew’s, so please do contact us if you can tell us more.

About the church:

  • St. Andrew’s was built in 1846, designed by the famous Victorian architect George Gilbert Scott.
  • St. Andrew’s cost £3,000 to build. Imagine how much it would cost today!
  • Before the church was built, services were held in cottages next to Hampshire’s shop.
  • St. Mary’s Church stood a short distance away and three other churches, at Stanley, on Thornes Wharf and Stanley Royd, were built at around the same time. St. Andrew’s is the only one of these churches still standing.
  • We have strong links with St. Swithun’s Community Centre, on Arncliffe Road, which stands on the site of the former St. Swithun’s Church. We hold our services at St. Swithun’s on the first Sunday of every month.

Did you know:

  • The first vicar of St. Andrew’s was William Bowditch. He invented apparatus for refining coal gas and gas lighting.

  • Nellie Spindler was a nurse in the First World War. She was killed when a shell hit the hospital where she was working during the Battle of Passchendaele. She is the only woman buried with full military honours alongside soldiers who died in the battle.  She is also listed on our war memorial – one very few civilians to appear on a memorial, and one of the very few women.

  • Two of our stained glass windows are dedicated to members of the Heald family. They were painters and decorators on Eastmoor in the 1870s and 1880s.

  • There are two war memorials in St. Andrew’s: one commemorates soldiers from St. Andrew’s Parish; the other commemorates soldiers from the Parish of St. Mary.

  • Fairfax Gill, who lived close to the Church, played cricket for Yorkshire in 1906. He died in military service in the First World War in 1917.  He is listed on our War Memorial (we think his brother is on our other war memorial!).

  • Sarah Nixon Hall, who was just 17 years old, is remembered on a commemorative stone near the door of St. Andrew’s.

Sarah died on 27th July 1855 and was the daughter of William and Elizabeth Hall.  William was from Stockton on Tees and a Superintendent in the Police.  We know that in 1851 the family, including Sarah, were living in Wickham, County Durham, but in 1861 William and Elizabeth moved the family to Drury Lane, Wakefield, with their six remaining children.  By 1881 William was Deputy Chief Constable of the West Riding Constabulary.  However, as this is the only commemorative stone in our church, we do not know why Sarah alone was allowed this honour!  Can you help?