click to return to 
Billinge Home & Contents

The Parish of Billinge
in the County of
-- Lancashire --

click to return to Lancashire Home
St Aidan's. Parish Church (C of E)

St Aidan's Church

There are no records of size and location of the earlier chapel, there is no trace of any dedication and was thought to be very small and poorly furnished.

According to Rev Wickham's booklet 'Some Notes on Billinge' the most likely site of this chapel was where the present Church of St Aidan stands. It is an impressive thought that the people of Billinge have worshipped God at this spot for more than 450 years.The sixteenth century was a time of great upheaval and confusion for the Church with the Church of Rome and the Church of England being ascendant in turn. When Queen Elizabeth came to the throne in 1558 Protestantism was finally established as the national religion but for many years after that there were problems in Billinge. The local gentry were mainly Roman Catholic and the chapel which had now become a Protestant institution was in poor condition and did not have an ordained minister.

A chapel has been on the present site since 1540. The present church was built in 1717 and became the Parish Church in 1828.

Founded 1696, is the only Anglican church in the village and thought to have been designed by William Smith and his son Francis Smith, in the Anglo-Saxon / Gothic style. It is known that a James Skaesbrike was a prime mover in the construction of the new building, a memorial to his generosity can be seen on the South wall of the nave, and that the Bankes family also made an equal contribution. It is unfortunate but we know little about Mr Scaesbrike except that he was a Liverpool merchant who had relatives at Winstanley. The new church was a rectangular building with a small apse at the east end.

Billinge Cross...... Not a part of St Aidans but surely associated at some time was Billinge Cross, mentioned in a document of 1555. It is thought that this cross was located at a boundary of the Winstanley estate. It's location would have been at the junction of Main Street with either Newton Road or Beacon Road, both close to the church. The land around Billinge was formally owned by Cockersand Abbey and it was usual for boundaries of such properties to be marked with crosses. The cross was probably destroyed by Cromwells men though it could still be found one day by someone excavating for a new building or will it be found forming a lintel or stone step in one of the older stone buildings in the village. We will just have to wait and see.

The Ministers who have served St Aidan's from the beginning to present Day. Supplied by Rev. D.W. Harris.

1609 - 1625 ..... Richard ('Reader') Bolton.
1625 - 1626 ..... Edward Tempest.
1626 - 1627 ..... Peter Travers.
1628 - 1646 ..... ?.
1646 - 1662 ..... John Wright (The Puritan Minister).
1665 - 1666 ..... John Blakeburne.
1666 - 1685 ..... Goulbourn.
1685 - 1699 ..... Humphry Tudor.
1699 - 1704 ..... Edward Sedgwick.
1704 - 1707 ..... John Horrobin.
1708 - 1748 ..... Humphry Walley.
1749 - 1763 ..... Edward Parr.
1763 - 1776 ..... Thomas Withnell (Dispute over patronage).
1776 - 1813 ..... Richard Carr.
1813 - 1833 ..... Samuel Hall.
1833 - 1853 ..... John Bromilow.
1853 - 1898 ..... Howard St George.
1899 - 1934 ..... Francis B Anson Miller.
1935 - 1949 ..... Arthur White (Archdeacon of Warrington).
1950 - 1952 ..... John D Jones.
1953 - 1966 ..... W Kenneth Strickland.
1967 - 1981 ..... Derek W Harris.
1981 - 2000 ..... Dennis Lyon.
2001- ..... Sam W Pratt.

Parish records for St Aidan's (C of E) church exist as follows:-
  Original Registers LPRS-CD LPRS-Fiche
      Births/Christenings       1696-1812       CD-123       MR-123
      Marriages       1696-1812       CD-123       MR-123
      Deaths/Burials       1699-1812       CD-123       MR-123

Billinge Home & Contents ©Lancashire OnLine Parish Clerks

Lancashire Home