JND 245/7 (Please quote this number if requesting this item.)

German Church2.1

This slim leaflet is a report on the origin of the German Evangelical Church in Bradford and, in particular, the progress of the fund to build a permanent place of worship.

‘The origin of the German Evangelical Church in Bradford is soon told. The town contains a large resident German population, of which a considerable number have brought or inherited from their native country the attachment to the Evangelical faith. No special and suitable provision for their spiritual wants had been made until 1876, when a Church Mission was held in the town, which, at the suggestion of the Rev. Vincent J. Ryan, was extended to the German inhabitants. The Rev. J.S.G. Krönig, of Hull preached to them in their own language. A committee was formed, who carried on divine service, with the help chiefly of Moravian ministers of the neighbourhood of Bradford, till in November, 1876, they received a pastor from Germany.’

A Grand Bazaar was held in 1879, the purpose of which was to raise funds to build a church for the German population of Bradford. The impressive list of the many members of the German nobility who gave patronage to the bazaar reminds us how different pre-war imperial Germany was:

His Royal Highness The Grand Duke of Hesse
Her Royal Highness the Grand Duchess Sophie of Weimar
Her Imperial Highness the Crown Princess of Germany and Princess Royal of England
Her Highness Princess Marie of Scwarzburg-Sondershausen
Countess Maria zu Münster
His Excellency Count zu Münster

Local celebrities were also much in evidence, including:

Sir Henry and Lady Ripley
Rt Hon W E Forster
Lord Frederick Cavendish
The Lord Bishop of Ripon
Mrs Julius Delius

Not forgetting the Band of the 103rd Royal Bombay Fusiliers!

The Bazaar made £422 1s. 7d., and with donations of £903.55 and promises of £1100, plus another £300, “some £2500 was made. This left £1500 more needed.” The Church was built and still stands, on the corner of Great Horton Road and Chester Street. Hundreds of university and college students pass the Church every day, most of whom will barely notice it. Currently it is home to the Delius Arts & Cultural Centre and Artwork Creative Communities. In addition to presenting a picture of Germany before the First World War, this ‘Treasure from the Stacks’ is also a reminder that the establishment of religious centres for immigrant cultures in Bradford is nothing new.


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