5 Albion Place, Leeds LS1 6JL
Leeds Church Institute, 5 Albion Place(Richard Adams and John Kelly, 1866-8)

The Leeds Church Institute was inaugurated by the famous Dr Hook, Vicar of Leeds, in January 1857.  It was intended to promote Anglicanism in Leeds, a town where Hook had once complained that Methodism was effectively the ‘established religion’. 

As a committed Churchman, it seems surprising that Heaton was not actively involved in running the Institute itself.  However, he did subscribe £20 towards the new building in 1869, and it gets several mentions in the journals.  In 1872, there was a Church Congress at Leeds, which attracted many high-profile churchmen.  The following day he records, ‘the Annual Meeting or Conversazione, of our Leeds Church Institute was held this Evening, with the intention of catching some of the celebrities before their departure; but it did not prove very successful in this respect.’ (Journal, iv. 76).

The Institute was also the venue for meetings of the Leeds Church Extension Society, set up in 1866 to continue Dr Hook’s work of building new Anglican churches.  Heaton subscribed £200 to the new society, and was elected to the board in 1875, having audited the accounts since 1870.  Ellen Heaton was also a subscriber.  For a contemporary sketch of the Institute's lecture hall, click here.

The Institute is still active today, having moved to premises on Central Road.

Further Reading:

Mason, Alistair (2000), The Leeds Church Institute: a history, Leeds Church Institute and Community Religious Project, Dept of Theology and Religious Studies. University of Leeds.
Yates, Nigel (1980), ‘The Religious Life of Victorian Leeds’, in Fraser, Derek, Ed., A History of Modern Leeds. Manchester: Manchester University Press.