St John the Evangelist, Staincross

Welcome to St John the Evangelist's Church, Staincross, serving the community of Staincross and Mapplewell for over 120 years, and being a Christian presence in a changing community in the 21st century.

We welcome all comers to our worship at St John's.  Please click on the links below to find out more about our worship and our other activities.

The church was originally known as St John's Mission Church and was a 'plant' from All Saints, Darton.

The present stone building was begun in 1896 and dedicated in April 1897.  The church was consecrated as a parish church on 23rd June 1928 and the first Annual Parochial Meeting was held on 8th January 1929.

The land for the churchyard was purchased in 1930 and contains graves from this time.  The churchyard is still open today for burial.

Vicars of St John the Evangelist, Staincross

Rev'd E S Owen                            1928 - 1947
Rev'd T V Briggs                           1948 - 1953
Rev'd P Slater                                1954 - 1958
Rev'd F W Irwin                           1958 - 1966
Rev'd J Holdroyd                          1966 - 1972
Rev'd J S Hall                               1973 - 1977
Rev'd A Wilson                              1978 - 1984
Rev'd D A Caton                           1984 - 1995
Rev'd J K Butterworth                  1995 - 2014

Rev'd Jonathan Macgillivray      2016 - 2018

Rev'd Tim Stevens                     2019 - present

Our Story

The villages of Staincross and Mapplewell were originally part of the parish of Darton. Prior to 1870 any Anglicans in these villages would have walked to the Parish Church at Darton to attend worship. Non-conformists however were much better provided for by no less than five Methodist Chapels. 

A century before a church service was held in the village John Wesley preached at Carr Green Lane, Staincross in the open air on 30th June 1786. The stone which he used as a pulpit was later buried under the "muck stack" from the pit. 

Anglican worship at Mapplewell was instigated by The Rev'd Charles Sangster who held open air services near Calbeck's old smithy which used to stand near the Four Lane Ends.

The first curate of Darton with responsibility for Staincorss was Rev'd Ralph, in 1870.  He soon got to work to raise funds for the building of a Mission Church. Thanks to the generous help given by W. B. Beaumont of Bretton Hall it was soon built on Blacker Road near the Four Lane Ends.


The foundation stone of the present church was laid on 15th September 1896 while Rev'd Thomas Metcalfe was the Curate.  This stone can be seen underneath the East window outside the church. The chancel was dedicated by the first Lord Bishop of Wakefield Dr W. Walsham How on the 27th April 1897. Only a matter of days later he retired due to ill health and died later the same year.

During the year 1911-1912 the parsonage house was built and paid for, partly from money in hand and partly by a loan from the diocese the repayment of which was guaranteed by the vicar (of Darton) and certain members of the congregation. It was not long before it was repaid.

In 1920 an army hut, a gift of the diocese, was erected behind the church at Staincross. This was a much needed building to be used as a Sunday School and for parochial and social purposes. It was opened on 13th July of that year.

The electric lighting was installed in the church on 23 Sep paid for by members of the Pleasant Hour.

 

From June to December 1928, there was no resident priest and it was during that time that two important events in the life of the Church at Staincross took place. The first was the consecration of the Church as a parish church by the then Lord Bishop of Wakefield on the 23rd June; and the second was on the first day of November when H. M. King George V signed the Order in Council, making Staincross a separate parish. This was described "The assignment of a Consolidated Chapelry to the consecrated Church of St. John the Evangelist, Staincross, situated within the parish of Darton, in the County of York and in the Diocese of Wakefield". Besides part of Darton, the new parish had taken in a considerable portion of the parish of Royston.

 

On the 12th December 1928, the Rev'd. E. S. Owen was instituted and inducted to the living by the Venerable Archdeacon R. Phipps as the first vicar of Staincross. During the first six months as a parish several gifts were made to the Church. An altar book and a white altar frontal were given by the mothers, a purple altar frontal and pulpit falls given by the Sunday School, white and green pulpit falls, white, green and purple burses and veils, prayer book for the clergy desk, book markers, chest for altar frontals and fair linen altar and credence cloths. 

The first annual parochial church meeting was held on 8th January 1928. when the following were elected to serve on the first Parochial Church Council: Messrs. W. Bennett, W.C.Brown, E.Earnshaw, W.Finch, W.Lockwood, M.Marris, E.Peckett, W.Shaw, F.Varey; Mesdames Finch and Turner; Misses Dransfield, Hirst and Nutt. Mr G.Richards was the first Vicar's Warden and Mr H.Barton the first peoples warden. 

The visit of the then Lord Bishop of Wakefield was made on the first anniversary of the consecration of the church becoming a parish church. Forty six candidates were presented.

 

By this time the scheme for the provision of a church burial ground was in hand, negotiations were afoot to secure the ground. Possession of the ground was taken on Easter Monday in 1930 when an army of men and boys worked at clearing the part that had been used as allotments. The portion of land to be used for burial purposes was consecrated by the Lord Bishop of Wakefield on the 23rd June 1930. The wall and gates at the front of the ground were completed in August 1952 and dedicated on the 22nd September 1952 by the Bishop of Pontefract. 

The churches of All Saints, Darton and St John the Evangelist, Staincross were re-united in September 2015 when they came together to form the United Benefice of Darton with Staincross and Mapplewell, enabling a strength of Christian presence to remain in these villages into the future.

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