History of two St Stephen's Churches in Fylingdales told in new book

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A new book has recently been published detailing the history of the two churches in Fylingdales dedicated to St Stephen.

Written by local historians and copiously illustrated with colour photographs, the book – A Tale of Two Churches – explores the history of these two Anglican churches in Fylingdales and tells the story of these two very different buildings.

St Stephen’s new church celebrated its 150th anniversary in 2020 while the present building of the old church celebrated its 200th anniversary in 2022.

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Although much has been written in the past about these two churches, the information is scattered and often difficult to find.

The front cover of the book A Tale of Two ChurchesThe front cover of the book A Tale of Two Churches
The front cover of the book A Tale of Two Churches

Now, for the first time, this story has been brought together in the form of an attractive, easy to read book, illustrated with fascinating old photographs and new coloured ones.

The history of these two churches is inextricably linked with Vicar Robert Jermyn Cooper, who arrived in the parish as a young man in 1858.

Educated in the Oxford tradition he must have found the old church an anathema and it wasn’t long before plans for a new church were drawn up, money raised and building started.

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The new St Stephen’s was consecrated in August 1870 and the old church was closed, it was hardly ever opened again until after Rev Cooper’s death in 1916.

Old St Stephen's Church, FylingdalesOld St Stephen's Church, Fylingdales
Old St Stephen's Church, Fylingdales

Several people have contributed to the production of this new book which has been funded by two generous local grants.

On sale for £7.50 from both churches and shops in Robin Hood’s Bay, the profits from the sales will be divided equally between the new church and the Churches Conservation Trust.

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