We're privileged and delighted to be able to share our wonderful building with the local community and beyond. We do hope that you will consider visiting us in person, do take a look at our heritage opening times. You may also be interested in our online video tour.
This page collects together somewhat more detailed information, images and stories relating to our history and heritage, and we very much hope you enjoy it.
The church is situated on the edge of a ridge of land between Meanwood Beck and the Aire valley, on the north-west side of the city. Its prominent location was fully exploited by the architect James Barlow Fraser (1835 - 1922), who included a striking steeple as part of his composition. The site was paid for by the Leeds Church Extension Society in 1866, the building being completed in 1871.
St Augustine's is Grade II listed. It is a bold structure in local rock-faced sandstone with grit stone dressed details, surmounted with Burlington slate steeply pitched roofs. The nave has aisles on both sides, terminating on the south side in the steeple and on the north in the vestries. In order to continue the rhythm of natural light through the high-level windows, the roof forms are unusual, forming awkward and inaccessible gutters and detailing.
Internally, the lofty nave has polished red and grey granite arcade column pillars and a fine set of head bosses of apostles and evangelists, with their various symbols in shields below.
The East Window was designed by the architect James Fraser as a memorial for his brother John, and John's wife Harriet. James Fraser also designed the mosaic reredos. Both the reredos and the East Window depict key scenes from the life of Christ.
There are carvings on small wooden shields showing the instruments of Christ's passion, as well as a small statue of St Augustine, an early church father and Bishop, who our church is dedicated to.
The pulpit and war memorial
To the left of the chancel is our pulpit, which was paid for in the early years of the church by the ladies of the congregation. It features three stunning mosaics, including the comparatively rare image of a pelican. Legend has it that in time of famine, a mother pelican would deliberately wound herself and bleed, feeding her young to allow them to live. This is seen as an analogy for Christ's own sacrifice on the cross, dying for us.
To the right of the chancel is a war memorial dedicated to the victims of both world wars. This is accompanied by some fascinating research on these young men who were willing to give their lives for us.
St Mark's Chapel & other historical artefacts
For many years our parish was served by two churches; St Augustine's, and St Mark's. St Mark's is one of around 600 churches built across the country to celebrate the Duke of Wellington's victory over Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815. It was designed by Atkinson and Sharpe, and consecrated on January 13th, 1826.
Sadly, in 2001, due to depleted attendance, the difficult decision was taken to close St Mark's, but its heritage lives on in St Mark's Chapel, including the original altar.
Also shown are a number of interesting historical artefacts, and a stained glass window from St Michael's Church, Buslingthorpe, also now closed.
Finally, our font, which was a gift from James Fraser, the church architect. It features ornately carved stone angels, and has an unusual counter-weighted lid.