Historic find among rubble

ENDURING MEMORIES: The Rev Paul Maybury with one of the newspapers found in the timecapsule at St Mary's Church. (w4298a105)

ENDURING MEMORIES: The Rev Paul Maybury with one of the newspapers found in the timecapsule at St Mary's Church. (w4298a105)

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NOSTALGIC artefacts dating back 113 years were dug up from the rubble of a demolished church.

A time capsule containing old newspaper articles, notes and coins was found at St Mary’s Church on the Chickenley and Ossett border.

The jar held copies of the Dewsbury District News, Ossett Observer and Halifax Guardian from January 1898.

It also had a document about the laying of the foundation stone and a poem by pub landlady Ezra Asquith, inviting people to gather for a celebratory pint at the Wagon and Horses.

The documents suggest the church’s first vicar was the Rev Joseph Walker.

The Rev Paul Maybury, the last vicar at St Mary’s, said: “This is a very interesting find and will be part of the enduring memories of the building.”

Mr Maybury, who became vicar at Holy Trinity in Ossett in 2002, said St Mary’s closed because it was no longer at the heart of the community.

He said: “Back when it was built it was at the heart of Chickenley Heath, where there was a railway station and lots of farms and homes.

“St Mary’s could have been turned into flats but we decided it would be better for there to be no church at all than a church that was not being used.”