The church sits snugly within the magnificent and wild Dales landscape. Its lightness and simplicity is striking; a Victorian chapel in the Early English style with plain leaded glass windows and little decoration.
The foundation stone was laid on 19th August 1840 and just less than a year later the building was consecrated.
The church has had numerous renovations, the font, made of Caen stone, was part of the 1905 renewal. The gothic lettering around the bowl and the base reads MELBECKS ECCLESIA. Why Melbecks? The name comes from the Norse and means middle beck or stream. No village of that name exists but there was a moorland township on the north bank of the Swale called Melbecks. Locally the church is referred to as Melbecks.
The original wooden pulpit was also replaced in 1905, with one made from Caen stone. In 2007 the flooring at the east end was re-laid and the steps to the pulpit moved from the right to the left hand side, thus opening up the altar area. In 2009, Philip Bastow re-lined the pulpit with beech.
A prayer corner has been added for those who wish to pray or just sit in this peaceful place. A book is available on the table there for anyone who may wish to leave intercessions. These will be offered at the following Sunday service. The church is also part of the Small Pilgrim Places Network.
During the 2006 works a new altar was commissioned from Philip Bastow, a local cabinet maker whose workshop is in Reeth. In 2001 a beech tree had to be felled in the churchyard. Philip dried and stored the timber and following a generous bequest to the church it was possible to commission him to design and make an altar. There was also sufficient timber to make a new communion rail to replace the one installed in 1841, which was more than a little unstable. Philip's superb craftsmanship has created, from our beech tree, new rails and a new altar that are both modern and yet reflect the style and architecture of the building. We very much encourage visitors to comment in the Visitor’s Book and a fair number have remarked that the tall brass candlesticks don’t really “go” with the new altar. Whilst retaining our affection for the Edwardian brass, which will continue to be used at some services, we saw the point. This year we commissioned Philip Bastow to design and make two candlesticks using the last of the beech wood.
At the back of the church you will see signs of the west gallery, now boarded up. In village churches this was the place for the church band- before organs became popular.
The Casson organ dates from 1911 and was made by the Positive Organ Company founded by Thomas Casson in Denbigh in the 1880s. These pipe organs were usually single manual, combining enclosed (swell box) and unenclosed pipes, and incorporating various devices to produce melodic and bass effects with relatively few pipes. They are particularly suitable for piano players with little experience of the organ.
The Holy Trinity organ has a number of ingenious features, such as the swell box operated by the right knee, and a movable keyboard to raise and lower the pitch.
Time has taken its toll, however, and in 2010 an organ refurbishment appeal will be launched. We hope the renovation will be completed in time for the organ’s centenary in 2012.
Two bells were provided at the foundation of the church. They were refurbished and re-hung in 1995.