Sunday, 11 March 2012
Not sure how I missed writing about this church over the past 3 years.
Today the church of St George in Leeds city centre is rather overshadowed by the nearby buildings of the Leeds General Infirmary. When this church was built in 1836-38 by John Clark in the Gothic Revival style it would have been seen as more imposing than it does today.
Unusually this church was built with no churchyard, instead there was an under-croft with 700 recesses for coffins. I may be wrong but I think that these coffins have long been removed. Today the crypt of this church St Georges is perhaps the best known part of the church across the city.
St Georges crypt has operated as a centre for the homeless and the needy since the 1930's and is I think one of the best known charities in the city. I certainly had heard of it long before I first walked past the church.
Externally at least from the front view this now listed Grade I building looks pretty much as it has always done. Inside it is a different matter, once through the modern glass doors St Georges church is a very modern organization.
Unusually for a city centre church St Georges was open to visitors on the day last week when I visited. I say this because yesterday I visited another large church in the nearby town of Keighley, on a planned visit only to discover that it was locked shut. This church was supposed to be open for a few hours on Saturdays for visitors, it is locked during the week as I discovered on an earlier unplanned trip.
Even on Sundays some of our churches do not necessarily have a service every week, so I try to be there when there will be someone there. Church wardens I find are a really good contact, they often live nearby and usually know quite a bit about their church.