In 1845 Arthur Bell Nicholls, who would later marry Charlotte Bronte, arrived in Haworth. He was appointed as a curate, and due to Patrick’s failing eyesight he soon took over the bulk of the official church duties. Patrick Bronte died in 1861 at the age of 84, having outlived his entire family and having served the Parish of Haworth for 41 years. He is still the longest serving incumbent of Haworth Parish Church.
In 1879 it was decided to take down the old church building and build a new one. This caused a national outcry as Haworth and the church had already become a place of Bronte pilgrimage. However, it was proved that the building was unsafe and unsanitary as water from that graveyard was seeping in through the floor, so the work went ahead. The foundation stone of the present church was laid on Christmas day in 1879 by Michael Merrall esq, a local mill owner, who contributed £5000 of the £7000 needed to complete the new building. A number of the stained glass windows inside the current church are dedicated to the memory of Michael Merral by his work force and his family.
In 1964 the Bronte Memorial Chapel was dedicated by the Bishop of Bradford. It was funded by Sir Tresham Lever Bart, a member of the Bronte Society. The communion table, chandelier and the Bronte memorial tablet are from the ‘Bronte’ church, before it was rebuilt.
The church of St Michael and All Angels continues to function as a living, worshipping congregation serving the people of Haworth and welcoming visitors from all over the world.