Heaton Baptist Church is to close at end of the month

The Reverend Tony Newnham and wife Sue are retiring from their duties at Heaton Baptist Church and will not be replaced.

The Reverend Tony Newnham and wife Sue are retiring from their duties at Heaton Baptist Church and will not be replaced.

First published in News Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Photograph of the Author by , T&A Reporter

A Bradford church will close its doors at the end of the month after serving its congregation for almost two centuries.

Heaton Baptist Church, on Leylands Lane, will hold its final service on Sunday, March 30, after providing more than 190 years of continuous worship.

Husband and wife Tony and Sue Newnham, who have served as Reverend and Pastor respectively since 2003, are retiring from their duties and will not be replaced, partly due to the cost implications involved in keeping the church open.

“We looked at the position of the church, and finances were an issue,” said Mrs Newnham.

“Unfortunately, the obvious answer was that the church should close. There is a lot of sadness, as there has been records of Baptist worship in Heaton since the late 1600s.

“Numbers attending services had gone down, but we do have an elderly congregation. Most of our loyal parishioners have already decided upon a different church to attend, and others will do so in due course.

“Sometimes things have to close and finish before something new can start, and we’re sure God has something exciting and new planned for Bradford.”

Margaret Gray, who runs the Heaton Graveyard Project at the church, said that while that initiative, which aims to restore the graveyard to its Victorian splendour, would continue, the church would be a “sad loss” to the local community.

“It is a real, real shame, but that is the situation of the world we live in,” she said. “We are unsure what will happen to the building, which is a great concern. It was a big thriving church in its day, and real hub for Heaton.”

The original Baptist chapel was built at a cost of £770 in 1824, before foundations for a much larger Victorian church were laid in 1895. This building was then demolished in 1987, and services transferred to the manse, or clergy house, which is owned by the Yorkshire Baptist Association.

“It is not a traditional church building, it is very homely and has all sorts of possibilities,” said Mrs Newnham. “We’re hopeful that it will remain as a Baptist building for a long time to come.”

No-one from the YBA was available for comment on the closure.

Comments (5)

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10:18am Mon 17 Mar 14

jamiejoe says...

... it would be interesting to know what God's plans are for Bradford, and the rest of the country / world too for that matter.
... it would be interesting to know what God's plans are for Bradford, and the rest of the country / world too for that matter. jamiejoe
  • Score: 4

10:59am Mon 17 Mar 14

Albion. says...

jamiejoe wrote:
... it would be interesting to know what God's plans are for Bradford, and the rest of the country / world too for that matter.
He has retired! A new manager from the Middle East has been appointed.
[quote][p][bold]jamiejoe[/bold] wrote: ... it would be interesting to know what God's plans are for Bradford, and the rest of the country / world too for that matter.[/p][/quote]He has retired! A new manager from the Middle East has been appointed. Albion.
  • Score: 4

8:05pm Mon 17 Mar 14

John_clayton says...

Albion. wrote:
jamiejoe wrote:
... it would be interesting to know what God's plans are for Bradford, and the rest of the country / world too for that matter.
He has retired! A new manager from the Middle East has been appointed.
start going to church then! How many people do actually go to church in this country? How many actually believe in God? Or shall we blame that on the middle east?
[quote][p][bold]Albion.[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]jamiejoe[/bold] wrote: ... it would be interesting to know what God's plans are for Bradford, and the rest of the country / world too for that matter.[/p][/quote]He has retired! A new manager from the Middle East has been appointed.[/p][/quote]start going to church then! How many people do actually go to church in this country? How many actually believe in God? Or shall we blame that on the middle east? John_clayton
  • Score: 2

1:41am Tue 18 Mar 14

spinnekop says...

Personally I could never get to grips with this 'higher power' malarky.

I don't have an issue with doing good, for a stranger, friend, family or even for someone who could be considered an enemy. Even as far to say I AM God and I can chose to be good or evil in my everyday.

Where it all turns into burnt toast wrong side up is when I see so many others blatantly being evil and any concept of justice in this world has long gone, along with an enforcement that I should respect those in power that do these things and get on my knees and suffer along with all the other good people who may well be having doubts too. This world or the next.

I do miss the social cohesion the church gave in my younger days though. As an Ex- Head chorister and cub/scout I do feel that the breakdown of the 'Yorkshire' community has and will continue to do more damage than can be counted on a collection plate.

I think that is as personal as I can be on a forum like this. I will say this though, I will do my best to great warmly the next person I meet, and keep that Yorkshire flag flying.
Personally I could never get to grips with this 'higher power' malarky. I don't have an issue with doing good, for a stranger, friend, family or even for someone who could be considered an enemy. Even as far to say I AM God and I can chose to be good or evil in my everyday. Where it all turns into burnt toast wrong side up is when I see so many others blatantly being evil and any concept of justice in this world has long gone, along with an enforcement that I should respect those in power that do these things and get on my knees and suffer along with all the other good people who may well be having doubts too. This world or the next. I do miss the social cohesion the church gave in my younger days though. As an Ex- Head chorister and cub/scout I do feel that the breakdown of the 'Yorkshire' community has and will continue to do more damage than can be counted on a collection plate. I think that is as personal as I can be on a forum like this. I will say this though, I will do my best to great warmly the next person I meet, and keep that Yorkshire flag flying. spinnekop
  • Score: 2

8:17am Tue 18 Mar 14

Blotto says...

John_clayton wrote:
Albion. wrote:
jamiejoe wrote:
... it would be interesting to know what God's plans are for Bradford, and the rest of the country / world too for that matter.
He has retired! A new manager from the Middle East has been appointed.
start going to church then! How many people do actually go to church in this country? How many actually believe in God? Or shall we blame that on the middle east?
Considering all the modern pagan religions come from the middle east, it makes no difference which one is in the ascendancy at the moment. People forget that all gods are created in the mind of man, anything else defies logic and common sense!
[quote][p][bold]John_clayton[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Albion.[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]jamiejoe[/bold] wrote: ... it would be interesting to know what God's plans are for Bradford, and the rest of the country / world too for that matter.[/p][/quote]He has retired! A new manager from the Middle East has been appointed.[/p][/quote]start going to church then! How many people do actually go to church in this country? How many actually believe in God? Or shall we blame that on the middle east?[/p][/quote]Considering all the modern pagan religions come from the middle east, it makes no difference which one is in the ascendancy at the moment. People forget that all gods are created in the mind of man, anything else defies logic and common sense! Blotto
  • Score: 1

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