The History of Moldgreen URC
Our origins are romantic. In 1865 a wealthy anonymous Christian lady, concerned for the spiritual welfare of the numerous inhabitants of the Moldgreen area, called upon a certain Mr.Hotchkiss, the Congregational Missionary attached to Ramsden Street Chapel, in the centre of Huddersfield to seek a suitable evangelist for this district. When none was forthcoming, she pressed him to accept the position himself, guaranteeing him remuneration for a period of five years.
Mr. Hotchkiss commenced work in Mr.C.Ramsden’s schoolroom, Malham Place, Moldgreen on July 26th, 1865, with services each Sunday.
He also gathered children into a Sunday School. The schoolrooms were speedily filled prompting the same generous lady to place the sum of £1,300 at the disposal of Mr.Hotchkiss for the erection of a new church. On Monday, November 13th, 1865 Mr Hotchkiss was ordained and MOLDGREEN CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH was formally established. Thirty-four members were enrolled, the majority, being by transfer from neighbouring Congregational Churches. Mr Hotchkiss was very restricted in his endeavours until a new church building was opened on 12 th April 1868.
By 1886 the church had 148 members on its register and an average weekly attendance of 611 children in its Sunday School. An extension was needed and after five years of planning and construction new Sunday School buildings were opened on 28th November 1891.
In 1965 there were celebrations for the Church Centenary but some concerns. The church was still thriving but with fewer worshippers and Sunday school scholars than in the late 19th Century and there were issues with the 110 year old building. Change and regeneration came in 1972 with a national initiative, the joining together of the Presbyterian and Congregational Churches to form THE UNITED REFORMED CHURCH, the name by which we are still known. After over 125 years of worship mostly in one building, a proposed road widening scheme published by Kirklees Council in 1986 meant a new building would be required. A service of dedication was held on 30th September 1989 to celebrate the opening of the building we know today. Further celebrations were held in 2015 as the church celebrated its 150th anniversary.
The story is still continuing and we hope the other sections on our website will be useful in describing the role of our church in Moldgreen in the present day.
Books were published in 2014 and 2015 which give the story of both the church and village in far more detail.
The publications are called:
‘Moldgreen URC – 25 Years On’ and ‘Celebrating 150 Years in Moldgreen’
Please contact author George Binns on firstname.lastname@example.org
for further information or to purchase copies.