19 Sep Spotlight on Katie Airey at All Souls Church
All Souls Church in Halifax was built by a wealthy philanthropist, Edward Akroyd in 1859. The church sits on Haley Hill in Boothtown and can be seen from across the town due it its impressive spire which reaches 236 feet (the second highest spire in the country!).
The church was originally built for the workers of Akroyd’s factories but over the years has become derelict with the religious demands of the town reducing. However, it is important to remember the positives of the church and the fond memories that many have there. The church is fully supported by a group of local volunteers led by Jane Austin and the Churches Conservation Trust, who have been working hard to ensure that this remarkable piece of Halifax’s heritage can be open to the public. All Souls was most famously commented on by its Architect Sir George Scott, known for designing the Midland Grand Hotel at St Pancreas Station, who said;
‘It is on the whole my best church; but it labours under this disadvantage that it was never meant to be so fine a work as it it…’
This quote is one that should be remembered and one that should inspire the regeneration of All Souls Church.
I bet you didn’t know that All Souls Church was built as part of the first ever (successful) model village, Akroydon, which was so profound for its time that Titus Salt used the idea when creating Saltire, the UNESCO world heritage site in Bradford.
My favourite people associated to All Souls Church are my Grandparents. They were married at the church on September 10th, 1966! They are still happily married and went onto have two daughters and four grandchildren (including myself). Their wedding at All Souls was the key focus on my MA dissertation and has been inspiration to get involved with the development of the church and its heritage.