History of Holy Trinity Church
Holy Trinity Church, Halifax
The church was built in 1798, by the then Vicar of Halifax Rev Henry William Coulthurst. At the time, with the vigorous growth of the town particularly around the existing Parish church in the valley. It became apparent a new church would be required to serve the population near the top of the town.
Photographs exist of major internal roof works around the late 19th early 20th Century. Major works were again required following investigation of the roof in 1956. The congregation moved out and held services at Savile Hall for approximately 2 years. The final repair bill was £8,000, a significant sum in the 1950s. However the once scruffy plain ceiling was replaced with neo-Georgian plasterwork and the whole building redecorated in an aesthetically sympathetic manor, a credit to the architect Mr Coutts.
The sweeping changes to the whole ministry of the church in Halifax proposed in the early 1970s never came to fruition at Holy Trinity. However a quinquenial survey of 1977 raised further doubts of the integrity of the roof structure and estimates of £200,000 were mooted. The PCC representing a congregation of 50 - 60 decided that even if they had the money to repair the roof, revenues were insufficient to continue running the building. They therefore proposed to seek a redundancy order and thus began a second exile in the wilderness of Savile Hall which this time was to last 30 years. It certainly exemplified to the Holy Trinity congregation that the church is people - and a building secondary.
Following the closure of the church building in 1978 the building subsequently suffered from the inevitable water penetration, vandals and malignant dry rot. However, with the assistance of English Heritage it was saved from total collapse, by an ambitious conversion scheme put together by architects Richard and Jill Wilson of Oddy and Sykes. The conversion has retained many of the original features: the undivided interior, the raised altar platform and the tall stained glass windows within their arched recess. Now occupied by Trinity Insurance the building provides spacious open-plan accommodation which has a striking resemblance to the original underwriting room of Lloyd’s of London.
Following the death of Fr. James Rushworth at Holy Trinity in 1980, the Archdeacon of Halifax, The Ven. John Alford, together with the Diocesan Pastoral Committee decided the town centre of Halifax would be best served by a team ministry consisting of St. John the Baptist (Halifax Parish Church) Holy Trinity and St. Mary’s with St. James church, Rhodes Street. On the retirement of Canon Raymond Harries at St. John's, a new team ministry was established and an order in council presented to Her Majesty the Queen on the 22nd December 1982 created the team ministry.
The Team Rector was The Rev. Robert Gibson, and The Rev. Medwyn Griffiths was appointed team vicar with responsibility for Holy Trinity and St. Mary's with St. James. He was succeeded in due course by Rev. Michael Brundle and The Rev. Doctor Geoffrey Calvert. Upon the retirement of Rev. Robert Gibson it was decided to disband the town centre team and The Rev. Geoffrey Calvert was instituted as vicar of Holy Trinity and St. Jude’s (following the departure of Rev. David Lockyer from St. Jude’s). When The Rev Geoffrey Calvert moved away to St Albans the Rev Martin Russell was appointed Vicar of Holy Trinity and St. Jude’s.