What is Vineyard House?
Originally a Parochial Institute for nearby St Michael's Church, built in 1883 by George Corson. He was a Scottish architect with a prominent Leeds practice responsible for several large houses in Headingley, including the Grade II* listed Spenfield House. He also designed the Grade II* listed Grand Theatre in Leeds (1877-78) with his assistant James Robinson Watson, Grade II* listed Leeds Central Library (1878-1884) and an extension to George Gilbert Scott’s Grade I listed Leeds General Infirmary. He won some of the most important recognisable public commissions in Leeds including a competition for the landscaping of Roundhay Park (1873) and the School Board offices (1876) and became the first president of the Leeds Architectural Society which he founded in 1876. Corson lived in Headingley where he died in 1910 aged 81, and is buried in Lawnswood Cemetery which he himself had designed.
The Parochial Institute derived from the efforts of the Vicar of St Michael’s Church, the Reverend F J Wood to create such a community building. The corner stone of the Parochial Institute was laid on 28th July 1883 by The Worshipful The Mayor of Leeds (Edwin Woodhouse).
Leeds Vineyard took ownership on 10 December 2018.
We believe God has called us to establish a community of faith in Headingley which, through Vineyard House, will communicate God’s love, mercy and compassion to all people.
We will establish Vineyard House as an iconic building bringing life, light, music and hospitality to the Headingley community. A safe space in which Christian compassion finds full expression. A place where the stranger is welcome, where anyone can pray, where the lonely and vulnerable will feel safe.
Rooms will echo with the joyful sounds of young people and children at home, music will be played and art created. The building will radiate warmth for those seeking support and help, the hungry will be fed and the refugee befriended.
As a church we rent space for our weekly worship from our friends at Headingley Methodist Church. As we have grown, we’ve found that it can get rather full at times, especially for our children and young people’s groups, and for the work of The Vine, our Child Contact Centre charity.
We have reached the stage where we need our own space, not for Sunday worship but to give expression to our vision of communicating God’s love and mercy to all people during the rest of the week! We long to share this good news in practical ways, to develop leaders and to minister with the poor in practical ways.
In order to help those in need: people suffering with financial hardship; those who are not living in their own home; those who might feel lonely or isolated; the elderly; families; children and young people, we need to establish our own venue and base.
Vineyard House will provide a communal space, a venue, meetings places, offices and rooms for various helping services. And to start with we are establishing a Prayer Room.
Architectural Presentation Boards including concept proposals
The appointed architect for the Vineyard House project Stephen Dixon from Calls Architecture has helped us deepen our knowledge of how St Michaels Parochial Institute was originally designed and how it has changed since its construction for various community activities over time. Research in the West Yorkshire Archive Service has allowed us to create two exceptional boards detailing the history of the building and we are very fortunate to be able to showcase on these the original architectural drawings by George Corson. The design presentation boards are well worth a closer look and include architectural layouts and concept proposals of how we might remodel Vineyard House.