Saint Thomas's Church, Greetland

St Thomas's Church is the Parish Church for Greetland and West Vale.

From 1851, Anglican services had been held at Houghcroft Head in the joined attics of a row of cottages at Howcroft Head. Sam Jagger was caretaker, and Rev John Hind was Curate here at this time [1853].

During the Curacy of Rev Thomas Snow [1859] a new Church was proposed. The estimated cost for the new Church was £3,000. Around £2,000 was raised by public subscription and money raised by bazaars and other local initiatives.

The foundation stone for a new Church, just to the east, was laid on 27th June 1859, by Dr Hamerton of Elland.

The Gothic revival Church was designed by Thomas Henry Rushforth. It was built by Cockroft & Company on land sold by Evan Charles Sutherland-Walker.

It opened on 6th November 1860.

It accommodated 500 adults and 200 children.

In June 1862, the Church served almost the whole of Greetland.

The organ opened [22nd July 1868] and gas lighting installed.

7 acres of land was given for the Glebe of St Thomas' Church by Sir Joseph Radcliffe of Rudding Park, Harrogate [1863-1877]. Farm buildings were erected with the help of donations and subscriptions.

In March 1879, the area served by the Church was extended to include West Vale.

In 1882, the daughter Church of St John the Evangelist opened for West Vale. In July 1973, the parishes of Greetland and West Vale merged.

Windows at the Church are dedicated to members of the Dyson family.

Incumbents and Curates at the Church have included


A new organ by Conacher was dedicated on 30th June 1936.

Details can be found in the National Pipe Organ Register.

On 7th November 1936, The Lady Chapel was dedicated and furnished by Rev Frank Buchanan. The Lady Chapel was renovated in 1988.

In 1986, a Garden of Remembrance was opened.

When St John the Evangelist, West Vale was declared redundant [1982], the Church furnishings – including the choirs stalls, the churchwardens' pew, the brass lectern, the memorial book of the two World Wars, and the churchwarden staves - were brought to St Thomas's Church, Greetland.

The records for the Church are held at the West Yorkshire Archive Service office in Wakefield (Collection WDP116): Baptisms [1858-1936], Banns [1906-1943], Marriages [1862-1976] and Burials [1861-1964].

Later records and registers are held at the Church

See Greetland Vicarage, St Thomas's, Greetland Memorial, St Thomas's Church, Greetland: Graveyard, St Thomas's Sunday School, Greetland and The Stations of the Cross

© Malcolm Bull 2022
Revised 12:38 / 19th November 2022 / 6981

Page Ref: QQ_124

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