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THE ERECTION AND OPENING OF THE
“ CHURCH OF OUR FATHER.”
HE crowning achievement of Mr. Blazeby's ministerial
career was the erection of the beautiful church, of
which he suggested the name, thinking it altogether expressive of the religion of Christ. The church is built in the Gothic style of the 13th century, with spire rising 100 feet from the pavement. The features are an entrance lobby, with gallery above, nave and chancel, with an octagonal recess for the organ. The doorway presents to Moorgate, rich and delicate design in terra-cotta work, as do also the two front windows. The east end window is of elaborate and large dimensions, exhibiting a fine rose proportion at the top with elegant supporting lights. The length of the interior is 68 feet, width 24 feet, and height 48 feet. The chancel is supplied with Sedilia of three compartments, finely designed and carved. The pulpit is elegantly proportioned, with brass reading desk, and placed on the east side of the chancel, balancing the organ and choir. The church accommodates 300 on the ground floor and 78 in the gallery. The total cost of the erection was over £3600. The architects were Messrs. Flocton and Gibbs, Sheffield ; the builders Messrs Chadwick and Co., Masbro'. ; the plasterers Messrs. H. and C. Leadbeater, Rotherham ; the terra-cotta work by Messrs. Armitage and Son, Deepcar ; the brass furniture by Messrs. Guest and Chrimes, Rotherham ; the iron railings and lamps by Mr. Wm. Owen, of Wheathill Foundry, Rotherham. The very handsome stone font, cut in Bath-stone, was designed and worked and presented by Mr. Isaac Hanby, memorial mason, afterwards a trustee of the Hollis Charity. The Communion tablecloth was given by ladies of the Upper Chapel, Sheffield.
The total cost of the church and land amounted to £3619 12s. ld.
GENERAL STATEMENT OF CONTRIBUTIONS.
£ 8. d. Congregation, including Bazaars, &c., £1,139 78. Minister £145
1284 7 0 British and Foreign Unitarian Association
400 0 0 Subscriptions received by minister's canvass, &c.
1500 0 0 Additions from friends giving donations, opening collections, and further canvass ..
435 5 1
£3619 12 1
Altogether it was a very great undertaking for the congregation and minister to accomplish. Mr. Blazeby's secretaryship of the West Riding Unitarian Mission for ten years much favored this canvass. Sheffield friends generously contributed about £500; Leeds, £225; and other congregations contributing were-Halifax, Wakefield, Elland (a widow lady £5), Mansfield, Chesterfield, London (over £200), Norwich, York, Birmingham, Nottingham, Leicester, Manchester, Bolton, Bury, Southport, Liverpool, Rochdale, Edinburgh, Glasgow, and some other places. The minister in his canvass did not omit any place or individual likely to assist. The year was one of unfavourable trade, and the result all the more gratifying.
The foundation stone was laid on May 1st, 1878, at 12 o'clock, by John Hobson, Esq., chairman of the trustees. The ceremony included two hymns, short address by the minister, Scripture lesson, by Rev. George Knight, prayer, by Rev. Eli Fay, presentation of trowel by the Chapel Wardens. The Bazaar, at one o'clock, was opened by Joseph Lupton, Esq., J.P., of Leeds, realizing £400.
The Farewell Service in the old Chapel took place on Sunday, Februrary 15th, 1880, when the minister gave an interesting account of Early Dissent in Rotherham, with a hstory of the chapel. On Wednesday, February 18th, following, the Opening of the New Church was celebrated, the Rev. H. W. Crosskey, F.G.S., of Birmingham, preaching an eloquent sermon, and the minister, Rev. Wm. Blazeby, conducting the devotional portion.