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St John the Evangelist Church

St John the Evangelist Church - Hipswell

Hiplewell of the Domesday Book, now known as Hipswell was the birthplace of John Wyclif, or Wycliffe, in about 1325.  His religious teachings are regarded as having paved the way to the Reformation.  Wyclif made the first English translation of the complete Bible so that the ordinary people could understand it. The present church building dates from 1811, but before that date there was a chapel just a few hundred yards away near Hipswell Hall.  It is mentioned in documents as far back as the 1200 or 1300s, so we might presume that John Wycliffe worshipped there. The ministerial duties were originally performed by the monks of St Martin's Priory and later by domestic chaplains. The chapel became a parish church in 1664 during the reign of James II (son of Charles I), when it gathered a congregation from the local area.

However, the building became a source of great anxiety, constantly needing repair.  Records show that in 1799 the walls began to bulge and had to be propped up (see Extracts of Accounts below). In 1804 the roof was seriously damaged and thatching was used to replace the missing slates (see Extracts of Accounts below).   By 1810 it was decided to pull down the dilapidated chapel and build a new one on a more convenient site. Stone from the old chapel and the west wing of Hipswell Hall was used for the new building and on March 26 1811 the first stone was laid  (see Extracts of Accounts below). Today, the only remaining recognizable fragment of the old chapel is a 16thcentury sculptured trefoiled head of window lights, which is preserved in the vestry.

The trefoiled head of window lights

The new church began as a plain, rectangular, whitewashed sandstone structure with a bell tower and two bells. Inside was a long nave with a gallery and font at its west end, a chancel at the east end and a porch on the south side.  It was built, with the aid of public funds, in the English style of Gothic architecture, having pointed arches and large windows with ornamental stone openwork, and was dedicated to St John the Evangelist, one of the Apostles of Jesus Christ. The mural tablets at the west end are in memory of the Revd. Richard Wilson, Mr John Hodgson and the Revd. James Robinson (of the Friary in Richmond), who were instrumental in the building of the church.

 

The Bell Tower Roof Beams The East Window The West Windows

 

 

On 15 July 1811, during the reign of George III, the church was consecrated by the Right Revd. B E Sparke, Lord Bishop of Chester, The date, 1811, can be seen on the gable of the south porch. The congregation sat in high box pews set out down the full length of the nave, which was separated from the chancel by a rood screen. The singing in those days was led by a little band, with its violin, flute, clarinet and cornet, from a large square pew known as the “singing seat”. The East window was the gift of the Misses Stevenson of Scotton Hall in memory of their grandfather, Mr John Hodgson. The first light represents St Martin, the second Our Lord and the third St John the Evangelist. The two west end windows were the gifts of the officers, non-commissioned officers and men from Catterick Camp in memory of comrades buried in the churchyard and those who died during World War I. The windows represent St George, patron Saint of England and St Oswald, patron Saint of Northumbria.

A thorough restoration took place in 1892, extending the Sanctuary and building a new vestry on the north side with accommodation for an organ. The high box pews were replaced by open benches. The unsightly gallery at the west end was taken down (the remains of the window can still be seen) and new oak beams were put in to support the roof of the church.

In 1979 further restoration work took place. The wood-wormed oak panelling and the damp, crumbling Victorian plaster were removed, exposing the beautiful mellow sandstone walls. The steeply sloping window sills were built up making it possible to use them for flower displays. The rood screen was re-sited near the west end, and a modern electronic organ replaced the old one.

Incumbents of St John the Evangelist

 

Date of Institution

Incumbent

Patron

1664-

George Hoggerthwaite

Vicar of Catterick

1704-

Ben Knowles

Vicar of Catterick

1736-

Thomas Wilkinson

Vicar of Catterick

1776-

Reginald Orton

Vicar of Catterick

1795-

Thomas Cookson

Vicar of Catterick

1808-

James Robinson

Vicar of Catterick

1817-

James Bradley

Vicar of Catterick

1830-

Berry F. Tucknip

Vicar of Catterick

1831-

Samuel Howarth

Vicar of Catterick

1837-

Richard Wilson

Vicar of Catterick

1885-

J.C. Lamb

Vicar of Catterick

1887-

Henry A. Annesley

Vicar of Catterick

1896-

F.B.A. Williams

Bishop of Ripon

1899-

Samuel Street

Bishop of Ripon

1912-

Ernest G. Coles

Bishop of Ripon

1924-1938

John Foster Beamish  *(see note)

Bishop of Ripon

1939-1944

R.S. Moss-Blundell

Bishop of Ripon

1944-1978

Hamilton Thompson

Bishop of Ripon

1980-1986

Robin Mann

Bishop of Ripon

1987-1995

Kenneth Tibbo

Bishop of Ripon

1996-2001

Clement Upton

Bishop of Ripon & Leeds

2002-2007

Elizabeth Varley

Bishop of Ripon & Leeds

2008 - 2013

Jan Kearton

Bishop of Ripon & Leeds

2014 -

Andrew Cromarty Bishop of Ripon & Leeds

* Note: The Reverend John Foster Beamish was a direct descendant of King Edward I of England, King David I of Scotland, and Dermot McMurrough, King of Ireland.

This ancient family of Beamish is of Norman extraction, and was formerly written de Beamys, de Beaumes, de Beamis, de Beaumeis.

Today in the County of Durham there is a town with the name of Beamish, so called after this family, some members of which possessed large estates both in England and Ireland, while others held some of the highest offices in the Church. 

INTERESTING EXTRACTS FROM HIPSWELL CHURCHWARDENS’ ACCOUNTS  (with original spelling)

 

 

 

£

S

D

1761

Spent when his Majesty King George the 3rd  was crowned

 

2

0

1763

Paid to Thomas Watson for whipping the Dogs out of ye chapel

 

2

6

1767

Paid to William Jackson for a forme of prare

 

1

0

1769

Paid to the labourer for 4 days work at 9d. per day

 

3

0

1771

Paid to John Metcalfe for a prare Book

1

1

0

1775

Spent when Hudswell singers came to sing at Hipswell Chapel

 

7

6

1776

For strings to the Bible

 

 

1779

Nov. 5th for ringing on that day

 

1

6

1783

Spent at Wm. Dun’s when the singing master was agreed with

 

3

6

1786

For a prayer for the King

 

1

6

1795

When Dr. Hutchinson entered on part of Plews Land

 

2

0

1797

To Walker for 2 pray sheets for the Minister

 

 

2

1799 

Paid William Carter for proping Chapel

 

1800

Paid Geo Lambert for cleaning and removeing the Rubidge from ye chapel

 

2

6

1804

Thatching Chapell when slates were blown off

 

1

6

1805

Paid to John Sievers sen. for damages done in his meadow

 

2

0

 

For going to Easby to get leave of Mr. Morley to pul down the old chapel-sledge. Fryer & Severs

 

4

0

 1811

March 26. Paid when the first stone was put into the ground for the new chapel

 

6

0

 

Paid when the foundation was cut

 

7

0

 

Paid Dawson First Bill for Richmond Barr

 

6

0

 

Paid Wm. Wright for 8 Frames to paint sentences uppon

2

12

0

 

Paid Wright for 2 frames one for the King’s Arms

 

17

0

1814

Paid part of the Law expenses

20

0

0

1815

Paid part of Law Expenses

87

1

5

1818

For coals for the Vestry for 2 years

 

8

0

1821

Paid for Whitewashing Chappel & Matereals

1

0

6

 

For a new Oake Chest    (still in use today)

2

2

0

1823

Hugh Mackintire for three Brass Cushions

 

1

0

1824

For attending the Bishop in the year 1822 and going to Colburn for the Popelation Ditto Scotton & going to Catterick to lever the account of the Popelation to the Bishop

 

5

0

1825

Tabel and Painting the Colloms & front of the gallery, the Spouts & Gates

 

13

6

1826

Paid Mr. Bell for Reeds & fiddel Strings for 2 year

 

10

9

1833

Paid for a letter from Northalerton

 

 

6

1842

Postage of 3 letters

 

 

3

1846

Rodger sons for communion Plate

7

5

0

1848

Church Bible & Prayer Book

3

5

2

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