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The Church of St Mark, Great Bolton
in the County of
-- Lancashire --

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The information presented below is courtesy of the St Mark's C of E School & Church site. For more in depth information, visit the St Mark's web site.

The Church of St Mark, Bolton
The Church of St Mark, Bolton

In 1856 the Vicar of Holy Trinity, the Rev Joseph Lowe, realised that an area in his parish covered by fields and lanes would soon become a thickly populated district and noted when children had finished their daily toils they were seen to be roaming the bye lanes or waste lands growing in ignorance and acquiring habits of vice. So he thought of a way to alleviate the problem.

A cottage on Lever St was acquired in 1857 and used as a Sunday School, the Rev Lowe was assisted in this effort by by Squire Openshaw, Mr Thomas Hall Arrowsmith and many others.

The project prospered and in 1858 two more cottages were built next to the original one as more homes were being built nearby so there were more children that needed to have their minds occupied.

By 1859, row after row of cottages were being built for the workers of the factories and mills that were also being built in the district, which was nothing but wasteland two years before.

By 1860 it was becoming clear to the Rev Lowe that the Sunday School was getting overcrowded and he found himself bound to attempt greater things. Mr George Piggott purchased the surrounding land for the building of a proper school and so the present school building came to be built. Piggott St and Piggott Park is named after George.

The Earl of Bradford 'Orlando George Charles Bridgeman 1819-1898' gave £200 towards the £3,255 it would cost to build and equip, it was designed by a Bolton Architect Mr C Holt and consisted of two rooms for boys and girls school each 102ft by 20ft and an infants room 60ft by 20ft and a master's house. The Sunday school was to be transferred into this new building and a day school started.

The school was opened the on the 8th of August 1861 by the Lord Bishop of Manchester at a tea party at which 300 people were present, Lever Street Holy Trinity National School opened it's doors the very next day and the Rev Lowe put one of his curates in charge of the district, the Rev John George Doman.

On Aug 14th 1866, the Lord Bishop of Manchester licensed the Rev Doman to the incumbency and the Rev Doman began at once to collect funds for the building of a Church, to be dedicated to St Mark. The church was designed by the architect R.K.Freeman

On St Marks Day (25th April) 1871, the St Marks the church was consecrated by Bishop Fraser.

In 1899 the Church Tower Fund is started, the church at this time had no tower, all kinds of events are arranged to raise money. A Grand Party for the Tower Fund was arranged for April 27th, 28th and 29th, tickets for sale at 1s each. The people who bought tickets had a brick with their name on it. These bricks were seen in 1973 when the church was demolished.

In 1900, the Rev Doman died after 38 years service in the district. Rev Edwin Wolfe took charge of the church.

On the 26th April 1902, the church tower, dedicated as a Memorial to the late Rev J G Doman is completed, the tower had been part of the original design.

1912 Rev Wolfe is replaced after 12 years service by Rev H R Tomlinson.

1921 Rev H A Coleman is replaced after 4 years service by Rev Harry G Moss.

1937 Rev Harry G Moss is replaced after 16 years service by Rev J S Leatherbarrow.

1944 Rev J S Leatherbarrow is replaced after 7 years service by Rev J Hadfield.

1951 Rev J Hadfield is replaced after 7 years service by Rev E R Chapman.

1958 Rev E R Chapman is replaced after 6 years service by Rev Cyril Winters, Rev John Wood replaces Cyril Winters sometime in the 1960s.

On the 25th April 1971, St Marks Day, the church is 100 years old. It is also the last day that the church will open it's doors. The decision to close the church was said to be because of dwindling parishioners who were moving further from the parish and also the area was being re-developed, but according to records the school and church had been under threat from the 1950s.

In December the last incumbent the Rev John Wood finally found the last of the movable furniture new homes and left the building, which was demolished in early in 1973.

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