Huddersfield Episcopal Area

Huddersfield Area background

Huddersfield Parish Church

Key Towns/Cities
Huddersfield, Halifax and Dewsbury

Civic boundaries and population
602,000 people, covering Calderdale and Kirklees Local Authority Areas (405,000 in Kirklees / 197,000 in Calderdale ).  The area is a mix of part rural, part post industrial (former weaving towns) and  part urban area. The larger towns are multicultural with . In Kirklees 14.8% of the population are of Asian origin and in Calderdale around 6%.

Famous for...

  • Ancient minster churches at Dewsbury and Halifax
  • Paulinus who first preached in Dewsbury  in 627 AD
  • Brighouse and Rastrick Brass Band
  • Huddersfield Choral Society
  • Huddersfield University (came top of the league tables for student satisfaction in 2012)
  • Denby Dale pies (first baked in 1788)
  • Eureka! world famous children’s museum
  • Piece Hall, Halifax (about to undergo a multi million pound regeneration scheme)
  • Festivals of all sorts including Christmas Tree Festivals and Scarecrow Festivals

Benefices, parishes and clergy
79 benefices, 108 parishes, 73 stipendiary clergy and 118 licensed clergy in total

Recent developments

  • Interfaith work including work with asylum seekers (St Augustine’s Halifax), Huddersfield Sanctuary Town Project
  • Regeneration which has involved the reordering of a number of churches looking towards greater engagement at the heart of their communities including Dewsbury Minster, St Cuthbert’s Birkby and Kirkheaton Parish Church
  • Social action including foodbanks initiated by Churches Together in Halifax, Todmorden and elsewhere
  • Reorganising ministry  to better serve the local area with many clergy and Readers now working in local teams or clusters
  • Fresh Expressions of church including the appointment of a pioneer ministry curate at Kirkheaton and  Grange Moor, Praise Party at Luddenden, Rock Mass at Sowerby

Why are we looking forward to our new Episcopal Area?
"We hope that the new Diocese will bring about a new energy for the work of God across the region and enable resources to be more focussed for mission in each area.In particular we are looking forward to :

  • Having an Area Bishop living amongst us;
  • Being a Pioneer Diocese with an opportunity to look afresh at how we organise support for mission;
  • Being able to share good practice and ideas across a larger Diocese;
  • Having a closer link to the local authorities, local councillors and local MPs."

Ven Dr Anne Dawtry, Archdeacon of Halifax