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The Parish of St Bartholomew, Roby
in the County of
-- Lancashire --

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St Bartholomew

St Bartholomew, Roby
St Bartholomew, Roby

St. Bartholomew’s church was built in 1850 as a memorial to Richard Earl, who died in 1848, the estates manager to Lord Derby who donated the land.

Originally the church began as a chapel of ease[1] to Huyton, Roby became a separate ecclesiastical parish in 1853. This was no doubt partially due to the increase in the population that was facilitated by the opening of the Liverpool to Manchester railway bringing wealthy Liverpool merchants within commuting distance of the township.

The first vicar was the Rev. George Banner. By 1878 when the Bishop of Chester consecrated the building, it had been enlarged three times enabling 520 people to be seated, and the spire had been erected. Oak panels [which had been collected chiefly in Flanders and Normandy] were presented by Lord Derby for the pulpit and chancel.

Ewan Christian, an architect whose work, mainly ecclesiastical, can be found all over the country, designed the final building. In the 1890s the church was renovated: the heating was improved, carved choir stalls were provided and the chancel screen was erected to the memory of Canon Sylvester who had commenced a 43 year long ministry in Roby in 1885.

The 1914-18 war memorial in carved oak is a reminder that though small, the parish gave 18 lives in the conflict.

In the 1930s the population began to change from a mainly farming community to a suburban one when Liverpool housing schemes brought a thousand new homes into Roby.

The present incumbent is Canon Geoff Pearson.

Previous incumbents were:-
George John Banner 1850-1885
Samuel Augustus Kirwin Sylvester 1886-1926
Cornelius O’Connor Fenton 1926-1934
Charles Richard Jarvis 1935-1970
Thomas Arthur Whyte 1971-1983
Symon Beesley 1984-1989

Acknowledgement: The source for some of the information contained in these notes was:-
Huyton & Roby: A History of Two Townships. By Alan King ISBN 0947739017
Published by Knowsley Library Service

[1] Chapel of Ease:
A church or chapel built in an outlying district of a parish, so called because intended to relieve the parish church and accommodate the parishioners living at a distance from it. Ordinarily such chapels may not have a baptismal font or a cemetery independently of the parish church. Frequently such chapels of ease develop into independent parish churches.

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