A to Z of Leeds: The vicar who helped rebuild Leeds Parish Church

We all know Leeds is a great city, right?

Thursday, 10th December 2020, 11:30 am
Architectural historian Dr Christopher Webster, pictured at the memorial tomb of Dr Hook inside Leeds Minster, previously known as Leeds Parish Church. PIC: Jonathan Gawthorpe
Architectural historian Dr Christopher Webster, pictured at the memorial tomb of Dr Hook inside Leeds Minster, previously known as Leeds Parish Church. PIC: Jonathan Gawthorpe

There are many reasons for this bold claim, from the people who've called this place home, to the history of the region, the developments underway and the talent and creativity we see on a daily basis. Here, we go through the alphabet to give you some reasons to be proud.

H IS FOR HOOK, AS IN WALTER FARQUHAR (1798-1875)

He was the vicar instrumental in the rebuilding of Leeds Parish Church.

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All Souls Church in Woodhouse pictured in February 1984.

His appointment in 1837 came at a time when the city was undergoing a huge growth in population - he was reputedly responsible for a congregation numbering 125,000.

However, when he took on his role in Leeds, he found the church in disrepair and ‘nonconformist’ wardens abusing their position and neglecting their duties.

Hook was a skilled orator and an imposing figure. He censured the wardens and threatened to remove their privileges.

Word of his powerful sermons spread far and wide and Hook began taking collections after each.

Inside All Souls Church in September 1986.

He opened a subscriptions book and raised enough money to cover the cost of the building of the new church, which was some £28,000.

The Medieval Church was closed in 1838 and the new church consecrated by 1841. Hook was also instrumental in the raising of monies to build 27 schools, 23 vicarages.

He was the Vicar of Leeds until 1859 after which he became Dean of Chichester.

All Souls Church on Blackman Lane in Woodhouse was built as a memorial to Hook. It was designed by Sir George Gilbert Scott and completed by his son John Olrid Scott. The foundation stone was laid in September 1876 and the church was consecrated in January 1880.

MORE A TO Z OF LEEDS:

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Laura Collins