The Church of St Thomas
in the District of Bedford, Leigh
St Thomas church is located on the north side of Chapel Street, Leigh in the old chapelry and township of Bedford at SD 664999
The following information about the church is extracted from the Centenary publication of 12 Oct 1940 “A short history of the church and parish” compiled by the Rev. G. Willett MA, Vicar of Bedford. Our thanks go to Eric Gregson for a copy of the booklet.
Significant dates in the history of St Thomas
21 Nov 1839: Foundation Stone of the Old Church laid by the Right Honourable Lord Lilford.
12 Oct 1840: Bedford Church consecrated by the Lord Bishop of Chester (Dr. J. B. Sumner).
12 Mar 1841: The Rev. Moorhouse James, M.A. licensed as Curate-in-Charge of St. Thomas, Bedford.
31 Oct 1842: The Rev. Moorhouse James licensed as the first Vicar of Bedford.
31 May 1902: Foundation Stone of the new Church laid by Mrs. William Charles Jones.
10 Oct 1910: Dedication of the new Church by Dr. Knox, the Lord Bishop of Manchester.
12 Oct 1940: The Centenary of the Church celebrated.
Vicars of St Thomas in the first 100 years
The Rev. Moorhouse JAMES, M.A. 1842-1879
The Rev. Thomas JACKSON SMITH, B.A. 1879-1886
The Rev. John Thomas LAWTON, M.A. 1886-1930
The Rev. George WILLETT, M.A. 1930-
Memorial InscriptionsAn undated anonymous transcript of gravestone inscriptions at St Thomas is appended to the microfilm of the burials register at Leigh Library. At some stage, most of the gravestones were removed from their original positions and located along the side of the current church. We are grateful to Sarah Hughes who supplied us with photographs of the remaining stones, and of the Horrocks memorial window inside the church. The MIs recorded here are from the existing stones and/or the microfilm transcript. Also included are the memorial texts of stained glass windows, as given in the centenary publication.