The church was built in response to a decision taken in 1837 by the Rev James John Hornby that the Parish of Winwick was too large and needed to be subdivided. The foundation stone was soon afterwards laid in October 1837. The Reverend Harold H Sherlock, the first incumbent, wrote in the first vestry book “The church was opened for Divine Service by Licence from the Lord Bishop of Chester on Sunday morning 22nd April 1838”.
The original building, by John Palmer, was rectangular in shape and made of yellow ashlar. The original chancel was different, but the long windows down the side were there. The building was troubled many times by dry rot and had to undergo extensive repairs each time. A building Committee was formed in 1913 and a new Chancel Fund launched. The two stained glass windows on the east side of the existing chancel were moved to the south and north sides of the church.
Margaret Helen Daglish gave a stained glass window for the new chancel in memory of her mother Ann Margaret Daglish. The centre panel depicts the Crucifixion with the Annunciation in the panel in the left and the Nativity shown in the panel on the right. The family of Christopher Fisher gave a window representing St Christopher for the north side of the chancel and above the choir stalls there is a window of St Paul in memory of Thomas Crompton who was for many years churchwarden before he died in 1910.
The new chancel has some extensive carving in wood, praised by Arthur Mee in his book titled “Lancashire: cradle of our prosperity” part of his The King’s England series published in 1937.
In 1937 Tom and John Crompton defrayed the cost of building a tower, which was completed in 1938, at the west end of the church in memory of their father Thomas Crompton, for many years People’s Warden. Their father was the son of Thomas Crompton, the former churchwarden mentioned above. This repetition of Christian names is one of the challenges to researching family history. The church contains many other items which are dedicated to former incumbents or members of the congregation.
Music has always played a vital part in the life of the church. In early days the Birchall family stood in the gallery and accompanied the service using their own instruments. In 1846, after raising money by private subscription, an organ was built where the Lady Chapel now exists. It was moved in 1913-1914 as part of the works for the new chancel.
In 1987 the rector, the Rev David Abbott, asked Hilda Plant to produce a leaflet as part of the church’s 150th birthday celebrations. We would like to thank the Rev Abbott for giving us permission to use the material for this web page. The leaflet contains much more than can be reproduced here. The library at Ashton in Makerfield has a copy of the leaflet. If there is an electronic version of the leaflet on the web we have not been able to find it.
Incumbents since 1838
The Rev. H. H. Sherlock 1838-1869
All photos by kind permission and © of Mary and Tom Durkin, Feb 2012