Holy Trinity Church, Hull

Report on our meeting held 24th October 2016

The Prior Rick Hudson welcomed members and guests.  He introduced the speaker Mrs Jean Fenwick BA (Hons) and invited her to give her talk, “The Changing Patterns and Discoveries at Holy Trinity Church, Hull”.

Jean began with some facts. The church was begun in the 1300’s and was finally consecrated in 1425. It is one of the first buildings to be built in brick since the Roman period. It remains an active church and is one of the largest parish churches in the country.

By 1800 the church was in a poor condition. There was a meat shambles built on to the east end. Non-conformist worship was growing and funding the improvements to this parish church proved difficult and controversial. Gradually improvements were made and Jean briefly mentioned some of this work including oak pews and a brass lectern with Henry Lockwood as architect starting in 1845, and work to Gilbert Scott’s designs to the west front and nave started in 1859.

Jean’s main focus of attention in this talk was the stained glass windows which she described in detail with some excellent photographs. Although the windows have been described as “an incoherent insertion of Victorian and modern glass”, each window is individually colourful and attractive.

Many of these were paid for by and dedicated to Hull families. Here are some she described. The window dedicated to the Rev John Bromby who was the vicar at Holy Trinity for 70 year. The 1880 window dedicated to William Leatham, a ship owner, features four stories from the bible with water as a theme. The Earl family window of 1898 depicts psalm 148. This was designed by Walter Crane and has the flowing lines and colours typical of the arts and crafts movement.

Disaster struck on 5th March 1916. A Zeppelin raid demolished an adjacent building and badly damaged many of the windows. Insurance money funded renewals but one window was constructed including a mosaic from broken glass as a reminder of that dreadful day.

Changes at the church continue.  What was the graveyard is being paved including water features which will hopefully be completed by 2017, Hull’s City of Culture year.    

The vote of thanks was given by Bro David Moore.  He thought many people in Bridlington would be unfamiliar with this church. He thanked Jean for this introduction to the Holy Trinity Church in Hull.