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St Mary's Church


St Mary
Description:
1978 View of St Mary's Church a year before demolition in 1979. It was one of the three 'million' churches built in Leeds, the other two were Christ Church, Meadow Lane and St Marks, Woodhouse. It was designed in Gothic style by Thomas Taylor and consecrated in 1826. Taylor caught a cold working on the church and died a few months before completion. One of the early vicars was the Reverend William Studdert Kennedy, who was vicar from 1879. His son Geoffrey also became a minister, being a curate at Leeds Parish Church in 1908. In 1914 he went to St Mary's and married later that year to Emily Catlow. When the First World War began he entered the forces as a padre and was stationed at Rouen. He was loved and respected by the troops, his habit of handing out cigarettes earned him the nickname 'Woodbine Willie'. He gained the MC in 1917, King George V appointed him an honourary chaplain afer the war, then in 1922 he became rector of St Edmund the King and Martyr Church in London.

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