St Aidan's Church, Leeds

St Aidan's Church in Harehills, Leeds, West Yorkshire is a Church of England parish church built in 1894. It is a large Victorian basilica-type red-brick building which is Grade II* listed. A church hall is adjacent. The architects were Johnson and Crawford Hick of Newcastle. The apse is decorated with 1,000 square feet (93 m2) of mosaics by Frank Brangwyn, which were completed in 1916. They show scenes from St Aidan's life: feeding the poor, in Northumbria, preaching and the death of the saint. They are said to be best viewed at noon on a sunny winters day, when they are lit by the nave windows. Brangwyn was initially commissioned to decorate the church by painting, and began this in 1910. However, he was concerned that the smoky atmosphere of Harehills would destroy it, so started again with a mosaic. On the south wall, behind the altar is the scene of St Aidan preaching. The artist's initials, F. B., are subtly given in a pattern of stars.

The church is unusual among Anglican parish churches in celebrating Mass daily. It is in the Diocese of Ripon and Leeds, whose cathedral is at Ripon.

The magnificent and sonorous organ of St Aidan's, dating from 1896, is one of the very finest instruments by James Jepson Binns and survives virtually untouched as one of the finest examples of the art of this great Leeds organ builder.

Building Activity

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