Today we celebrate St Hild(a), with a beautiful collect (below). My mind goes back to St Hilda’s Church, Shiregreen in Sheffield where I grew up. My dad was vicar and he is pictured here by it late in his life and late in the church’s life too.
The collect is beautiful and so is the memory of Hild, St Hilda’s is more problematic as is Shiregreen and its Flower Estate. The estate was built by architects from the Garden City movement as as showcase council development and the church designed by the famous Temple Moore practice – and from the right and angle and in the right light it had a delightful Arts and Crafts feel.
But the estate quickly became a sink, and from the wrong angle and in the wrong light the church loomed cliff-like in harsh red brick on the vertiginous slope of the ancient Wincobank fortifications.
I must write the story of those days one day, when I am a little older perhaps but not too old – or is that what everyone says who in the end fails to chronicle the past?
who made the abbess Hilda to shine like a jewel in our land
and through her holiness and leadership
blessed your Church with new life and unity:
help us, like her, to yearn for the gospel of Christ
and to reconcile those who are divided;
through him who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.
Formed out of portions of the parishes of St. Cuthbert (Fir Vale); St. Thomas’ (Wincobank) and St. Thomass# (Brightside) in November 1936.
The site of the church (consecrated 1938) was given by Mr. Bradley Firth, and a sum of £3,000 was presented towards the building by Mrs. Jeffcock, a former resident of Shire House, Lower Shire Green.
The living is a vicarage, net yearly value £550, with residence, in 1957 by the Rev. Ronald Thomson, B. A., of Leeds Universty.