St Cross Church in Middleton marked their 90th anniversary with a service of Thanksgiving on 5 November 2023.
Leeds Corporation purchased the land for new housing estate in Middleton around 1920 and in 1925 a wooden church was built in the heart of the estate. In 1933 the foundation stone was laid for a permanent church to be built in an Italianate style – St Cross Church.
The service was led by Rev Dr Clive Barrett, who explained that there wasn’t a person called Saint Cross, it was another way of saying Holy Cross. He went on:
“The Church of England is for everyone. Everyone living in a parish has rights at the parish church, and the Church has responsibilities for their welfare. Nobody is left out. So, the role of St Cross from the beginning was to serve all the people of Middleton.
“It was right the new St Cross was at the very centre of the new estate. That was where the Church should be.”
Rev Barrett reminded the congregation of the priests who had been at St Cross over the decades, including himself.
Starting with Father Pickersgill, who sounded rather a stern figure, through to Trevor Stubbs who had an amazing youth group, Mike Hatton and Andy Myers who retired in 2021.
“But we all left” he said “and what mattered was the community who stayed, the Christian community who are rooted in this place.
“Over time, everything changes, yet nothing does. This community still needs St Cross at its heart. And we are to love God, love our neighbour and trust in God’s promise.
“This place matters. St Cross matters. The people of Middleton matter.”
St Cross has a number of Christmas services coming up including a Service of Nine Lessons and Carols on Sunday 10 December at 9:30am; Christingle on Sunday 17 December at 4pm; and a Crib Service at 4pm and Midnight Communion at 11pm on Sunday 24 December.
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