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A Church at Blackford

The first reference to a church being built in Blackford was made in an October 1868 proposal. It said that the parish of Kirklinton was very large, covering 25 square miles and containing nearly 2,000 people, yet had only one church - Kirklinton Church - which could only hold 300, and was out of reach to people living in the outer areas of the parish. The livelihood was only worth £94 per annum, the Rector at the time was an invalid, and the Curate despite his best efforts, was unable to cover services in outer areas such as Hethersgill and Westlinton alone, especially in the winter. This meant that for a substantial part of the year, the inhabitants of that part of the Parish were left without Church services. 

The proposed solution was to build a church at Blackford, in the township of Westlinton, to serve people living in the surrounding hamlets, many of whom lived over five miles away from Kirlinton. The local inhabitants were described as 'for the most part small landholders, farmers and agricultural labourers". A site for the proposed church next to the school had been given by Sir James  Grant of the Hill, and donations of money for the building work were to be sent to Mr Charles B Hodgson.