Early Years – Church & Club
Sowerby Bridge Church Institute Cricket club was formed as Christ Church Cricket Club.
Church and Sunday School were at the heart of community lift in Victorian England and it was common for them to embrace many aspects of their members’ lives.
When a cricket club was instigated by the Young Men’s Class of Christ Church which met at the Town Hall in Sowerby Bridge, it was consistent with the pattern across the industrial North and Midlands.
Most players attended Christ Church and, catering for numerous leisure activities, the Institute was the church’s social and sporting arm.
After a decade of playing challenge matches against other local teams, Christ Church CC was swept along in the rush towards the formation of leagues in cricket, association football and rugby football around 1890.
The ‘Sowerby Bridge Division Cricket League’ was one of hundreds formed at this time and Christ Church CC was playing in it by 1894.
Possibly to avoid confusion with other clubs of ecclesiastical origin, the Club became know as Sowerby Bridge Christ Church and also played under the name of Sowerby Bridge Church Institute, a mouthful quickly abbreviated to SBCI.
In its early days, the Club also played in the Halifax Amateur League.