A day of celebrations commemorated the 160th Anniversary of the Consecration of St Helen’s Church, Escrick by the then Archbishop of York, Thomas Musgrave, on 1 July 1857
As was the case in 1857, the celebrations centred on the interwoven heritage of this, the third successive St Helen’s Church, Escrick village and the Escrick Estate. A programme with echoes of the 1857 Consecration included a special commemoration service in the morning, a ‘sumptuous’ hog roast buffet lunch at the neighbouring Parsonage Hotel, and a choral Evensong Service led by the Archdeacon of York, the Venerable Sarah Bullock, with the Sermon preached by the Right Reverend John Thomson, Bishop of Selby.
The day of celebration brought together both churchgoers and St Helen’s supporters from the wider church, estate and village communities.
Speakers of all ages, representing the shared heritage contributed to the special service by reading out reminders of notable local and wider history from the last 160 years. The service was led by the Rector of St Helen’s, Reverend Richard Kirkman and Malcolm Smith, who regularly leads Morning Service at St Helen’s. Musical contributions came from St Helen’s organist, Nigel Bellamy, the Escrick-based Tuesday Singers and the Celebration Singers who are regular contributors to St Helen’s special services and concerts.
Three generations of the Escrick Estate-owning Lawley family, who paid for the then new church and Rectory are commemorated in the Consecration plaque in the Church Porch and six members of the same family, now Forbes Adam by marital succession, were among the readers at the Anniversary Service. They included Charlie Forbes Adam, who is ‘Champion’ of St Helen’s current bid to secure a Heritage Lottery Fund Delivery Phase Grant for its “Walking through the centuries with a legless knight” heritage hub project.