St Leonard’s Molescroft
The indenture made on February 4th 1896 between Ernest Richard Bradley Hall-Watt, farmer of Bishop Burton, and Revd Henry Edward Nolloth, Vicar of Beverley Minster, states that a piece of land situated in the township of Molescroft, in the parish of St. John of Beverley, shall be used to build a Mission Room and Sunday school. The church was dedicated on December 1st 1896 by the Suffragen Bishop of Beverley, the Right Revd Robert Jarrat Crosthwaite.
Before St. Leonard’s was built the people of Molescroft”population at that time around 200-would have walked the two or so miles to the Minster for services. The church was small. Between the two World Wars seating for 35 was provided. There was very little development of the area at this time and a service was held once a Sunday.
All this changed in the 1960s and 1970s when Molescroft witnessed a huge development in house building. It was felt that the church should be extended and in 1976 plans were drawn up to add a chancel. The cost was estimated at £10,000”a huge sum in those days. Work was completed in March 1979.
Many improvements were made to the interior of the expanded building. The beautiful simple cross, which is a feature on the east wall of the chancel, was made by a craftsman from the army camp at nearby Leconfield, utilising timber from some surplus oak doors. Sixty new chairs and a new church organ were purchased, all made possible by donations from the congregation. Some of the previous church furnishings were reworked into a new lectern and flower pedestals, making the improvements compatible with the old. On April 25th 1979 the new chancel and furnishings were dedicated by the Lord Bishop of Hull, the Rt. Revd Geoffrey Paul, assisted by the Vicar of Beverley Minster.
Molescroft continued to expand. In the 1990s a major new housing project (New Molescroft) was constructed. By 1997 it was clear that for St. Leonard’s to continue to be effective in its mission substantial alterations to the building would be needed; it had no toilets, no kitchen facilities and inadequate heating. Exploratory work started in 1998. By September 2000 preliminary details of the alterations and costs were available and the congregation gave its strong support and helped with pledges and donations; in October the Parochial Church Council gave its approval. Other necessary approvals, including planning permission and a faculty, were obtained in the first half of 2001 and the extension built between August and November. The enlarged church now had a vestry, kitchenette, disabled entry and toilets.
The greatest benefit has been increased use of the building. In addition to the usual Sunday service there is now a thriving mother and toddler group, and a monthly family service. There is a weekly time of prayer, and a monthly evening service of Prayer and Praise. Over the past 3 years there have been more than 30 baptisms, and the church has been used by the Diocesan Training Group and other organisations.
Well-known for its warm welcome and its singing St. Leonard’s is actively fulfilling its role of a mission church in the north of the parish.
Weekly Sunday Holy Communion Service 9am
Fourth Sunday Family Service 11am (At Molescroft Parish Centre).
˜Pebbles’ Mother and Toddler Group Thursdays 10-11am.
Mission Prayer Time Tuesdays 12-1pm.