The C of E’s youngest vicar

Birmingham Daily Gazette
Monday 25 November 1929


The Rev Eric Victor Jones, youngest, son of Mr and Mrs Fred Jones of Stafford House, Oakengates, who was recently instituted to the living of Wrenthorpe, Wakefield, is only 28 years of age and is the youngest vicar in the Anglican Church.

Mr Jones received his early education at Wombridge Schools, and was afterwards transferred to Mirfield and Kelham College. When 23 he was ordained deacon, and in the next year became a priest. His first curacy was at Elland, Yorkshire, and after a short period he went to the West Indies where he did splendid work for two and a half years as a missionary.

He returned recently and only a fortnight ago was instituted by the Bishop of Wakefield to his present living. His wide circle of friends in Oakengates and district will be pleased to learn of his success, for when on a visit to his home at Oakengates, he has on each occasion conducted the services at the parish church. He is an eloquent preacher.

Building and opening of St Anne’s Church

Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer
Thursday 24 April 1873


Yesterday the Mayor of Wakefield laid the cornerstone of a new church about to be erected at Wrenthorpe, near Wakefield. The inhabitants of this rapidly-growing village have heretofore worshipped at the old church at Alverthorpe, and at a school which stands in their midst. About two years ago a clergyman was appointed to the village, under the vicar of Alverthorpe, and the combined efforts of these two gentlemen, with the co-operation of numerous friends, have resulted in £700 being raised towards a new church for Wrenthorpe. A vicarage has already been built, and the ground secured for the church is in convenient proximity. The sacred edifice is to seat 300 worshippers, and it will cost about £1,200. The architect is Mr T W Micklethwaite, of Westminster; and the contractors Messrs Thickett, of Horbury.

Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer
Thursday 24 April 1873


Yesterday the Bishop of Ripon consecrated small church which has been erected in the village of Wrenthorpe, Wakefield. Hitherto there has been no church there, but services have been held regularly for some time past in the National Schoolroom [in School Lane], the Pariah Church being situated at a considerable distance. The population of the hamlet, consisting chiefly of the working class, is not large, nor is there an immediate prospect of it increasing to any great degree. The new church is therefore not of large dimensions. It is a plain brick building, with stone dressings, and the interior is quite keeping with its external appearance. A central aisle divides two rows of seats of white pine, and a rather heavy timber screen separates the nave from the chancel. Yesterday, however, the furnishing and decoration had not been completed, nor had the east window received all its stained glass, and therefore the interior was not what will ere long appear. The aim which the architect (Mr J T Micklethwaite, of London) had in view was to design a church of substantial proportions and convenient at a small cost, and with the co-operation of the builders (Messrs G & W Thickett, of Horbury), his efforts have gained the satisfaction of the building committee and all concerned. The east and west windows are mullioned and large; the side windows are small. The total cost, including the sum paid for the site, will not be more than £5 per sitting, and the accommodation will be sufficient for 200 worshippers. The stained glass of the east window will be symbolical of the Incarnation, and form beautiful work of art, by Mr W C Kempe, of London. This fine feature is the gift of George Austerfield of Burnley. The elaborate silk vestments which adorn the altar have been wrought and contributed by Mrs Naters the wife of the Incumbent, the Rev C J Naters. The wooden cross and candlesticks upon the altar are also gifts, and Mr J Aldam Heaton, of Bingley, the committee are indebted for the sanctuary hangings.

The consecration service commenced two o’clock. The congregation was large. It consisted almost exclusively those whose spiritual requirements it is desired to meet, and judging from the interest they manifested in the event, the erection of the sacred edifice has their grateful appreciation. Amongst the clergy present were the following :– The Rev Canon Camidge, Vicar of Wakefield; Rev J W Chadwick, St Michael’s, Wakefield; Rev John Sharp, Horbury; Rev J S Gammell, Outwood; Rev J Walton, Alverthorpe; Rev J Gatrill, curate of Horbury; and the Rev J Harrison, curate of Alverthorpe. The Bishop reached a sermon on the occasion from 1st Corinthians, chapter 6, and verse 14 – “God hath both raised the law, and will also raise up us by his own power.” At the commencement of his simple, yet eloquent, address referred the object of the occasion. He said they had been engaged in a very solemn and deeply interesting service. They had been dedicating that church, which had been recently erected for the public worship of God, and by the solemn form of consecration which had been used, the building was now separated from all common and profane purposes and dedicated entirely to the ministrations of religion. The object view building the church had been to provide additional accommodation for who lived its immediate neighbourhood. They were at an inconvenient distance from the ancient church of the parish, and because of that many might have been hindered from attending, otherwise they would have attended, the house of God and the ministrations of religion therein performed; and therefore it had been hoped that by providing a building close at hand, in which they might have all the ordinances and means of grace freely supplied, many might be encouraged to go and wait on those ordinances, who perhaps hitherto had only occasionally used them altogether neglected them. He earnestly prayed God that that object might be fully attained, that numbers might be found ready to avail themselves of the ordinances of grace, and that in the faithful use of those ordinances many might grow in grace and in the knowledge of their Lord and Saviour.

Vicar’s letter on Nonconformity

Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer
Monday 14 July 1902


Sir, – May I add a word? The letters in to-day’s “Yorkshire Port” will, I hope, be allowed to represent the dispassionate feeling of true Christian Churchmen towards Nonconformity. They are perfectly satisfactory as coming from representative Churchmen, and I can conscientiously subscribe my name to every one of them.

There is again, no inconsistency between their spirit and the spirit of the letter written by our revered Bishop to the new President of the Free Church Council. What I am wishing to ask is this: Are the schismatics any more than nominal schismatics at heart? Where is the difference between the majority of them and Churchmen?

I live in a village where Nonconformity has been strong for years, and taking an interest in its public life I find that the so-called “rabid Dissent” is based more upon the suspected antipathy of the parson than upon any theological difference. The Church has placed herself, to speak, in a ring fence, and Nonconformists imagine themselves to be fenced out.

I have succeeded in breaking through much of the unfortunate reserve of the Nonconformists, and I find them as body to be really admirable fellows for whom I have the greatest possible affection.

They in no particular resemble the paid political man who I contend does but libel them on public platforms. Throw out to them unfettered love and sympathy, and who shall say how soon our prayer for unity may be forthcoming? Act arbitrarily and a strengthened suspicion will bar the way. It is a most unfortunate position to contemplate, that the only thing in our common life we split upon is our Christianity.

Yours truly
Wrenthorpe Vicarage
July 11, 1902

Fund raiser to tackle church debt

Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer
Wednesday 4 October 1905


The Mayoress of Wakefield (Mrs Childe) yesterday opened a three days bazaar in Unity Hall, Wakefield, with the object raising £500 in aid of the funds of St Anne’s Church, Wrenthorpe. The hall has been transformed into an effective representation an old Normandy Fair. It was stated by the Vicar Wrenthorpe (the Rev P S Brown) that the parish has a population of only 2,500, composed almost entirely of poor people. £325 was needed to liquidate the debt on the organ chamber and organ, £150 to complete the renovation scheme, and £25 to place the finances of the church on sound basis.

Vicar dabbles in politics

Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer
Monday 7 August 1905


A by-election for the Wrenthorpe Ward of Stanley Urban District Council took place Saturday. Tom Lumb was returned by 205 votes. His unsuccessful opponent, Rev Philip S Brown, Vicar of Wrenthorpe, polling 150 votes.