- 1568-1995 (Creation)
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0.16 cubic metres
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The church of St Helen Stonegate was first mentioned in 1235, although it is believed to be of much earlier, possibly Anglo-Saxon, foundation. It was at this time in the patronage of the Priory of Moxby, who retained it until the Dissolution of the Monasteries in the sixteenth century when it passed to the Crown. A vicarage was ordained there in the fifteenth century but the parish remained small, serving only a few hundred houses.
In 1548 it was proposed to unite the parish with either St Sampson, St Michael le Belfrey or St Martin Coney Street and the church was subsequently suppressed and the building sold by the City Corporation. However the decision proved unpopular, and in 1553 parishioners was given permission to rebuild the church and repair the churchyard.
The churchyard was moved to Davygate in 1745 to make way for the creation of the present St Helen’s Square, and the benefice was augmented in 1757 through Queen Anne’s Bounty. It received additional grants from the Parliamentary Fund in 1804 and 1815 and the church was largely rebuilt in the 1850s by William Hey Dykes. The church tower was replaced in the 1870s by architect William Atkinson of York and the church's stained glass was repaired in the 1960s under the direction of George Pace.
In 1910 the benefice was united with that of St Martin Coney Street. St Helen’s Church remained in use and, following the destruction of St Martin’s by an enemy bomb in 1942, became the principal church for both parishes. In 1954 the two parishes were formally united and today they are part of a group of city parishes under a single priest-in-charge which includes All Saints Pavement, St Denys and St Olave.
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