Where it all started 1822

The seeds of St John’s were sown 2nd December 1822 when the above letter was written to the Dean of Ripon, Robert Waddilove (1736-1828). The illuminated letter on parchment still exists.

“Dear Sir

We the undernamed inhabitants of Sharow, Copt Hewick and Bridge Hewick being very desirous of attending the service of the Established Church and anxious that our children and our servants should be bred up in its principles, feel sorry that we cannot be accommodated in the Minster on the Sabbath days to join the sacred services of the same owing to two considerations  –  the inadequacy of the church to contain numbers and the increased and increasing population of Ripon with Bondgate.

We therefore with the inhabitants of the Townships before named have consulted together on the propriety of making an attempt, at least, to build a chapel in connexion with the Church of Ripon, at Sharow, that place being most central to the other Townships. As our project is not set on foot in hostility to the Dean & Chapter, nor against the interests of the church over which they preside, we look forward to your valuable co-operation and support.

Under this impression and being convinced of your good wishes for us all, we beg to solicit an interview with you on this important subject, leaving time and place to your own appointment, in order that we may profit from your suggestions and more fully develop our plans; the prominent outlines of which are –  the building of a chapel and a permanent provision of a clergyman to officiate therein

The population seeking for this accommodation exceeds three hundred souls.

The favour of your answer will much oblige the Townships on whose behalf we make this application as well as ourselves.

We have the honour to be Rev’d Sir, Your most obedient servants

Geo. Knowles                              Wm. Charnock

Signatories include: Sharow 114; Copt Hewick 108; Bridge Hewick 89.”