End of an era for historic village church

Brotherton United Reformed Church is having to shut the church permanently next month due to lack of members and funding. Pictured is Bryan Greenwood, treasurer.
Brotherton United Reformed Church is having to shut the church permanently next month due to lack of members and funding. Pictured is Bryan Greenwood, treasurer.

It was once a bustling community building with a Sunday School of more than sixty children.

But now the United Reformed Church (URC), which has stood in the heart of Brotherton since 1838, has just one congregation member.

And church treasurer Bryan Greenwood said it is with a heavy heart that he will see the building close its doors for good on Easter Sunday.

Mr Greenwood said: “There has been a dwindling congregation for a while and unfortunately we no longer have the finance to keep the church going.

“The building needs a lot of work on its structure and after a meeting with the URC and church authorities last month, we decided with a heavy heart that it was impossible to carry on.”

Mr Greenwood, 74, was christened at the church, better known as Brotherton Chapel, in the 1940s.

And he has dedicated much of his life to supporting it.

He said: “I was christened there, I went through Sunday School and the church youth club.

“I went on to be a Sunday School teacher, church secretary and now treasurer.

“I have tried and tried to keep it going and we have been lucky to have Knottingley and Castleford URCs help us.

“But now I am the only member and if you have only one member you can’t class it as a church.

“I am really very sad as it has been a big part of my life for a long, long time.”

Mr Greenwood put the “dwindling congregation” down to people moving out of the area, children not attending Sunday school and people “not believing anymore”.

He said: “Sadly, people no longer come and support it. It’s as simple as that.”

The church will close on March 27.