Photograph supplied by and © of Brian Young
Worship at Marton began in 1760 when Rev. Mr Gibson of Lytham came to the Charity School (Baines Endowed) to perform divine worship every alternate Sunday afternoon. Prior to this and every other Sunday the villagers of Marton had to walk to Poulton, well nigh impossible in winter due to the marshy conditions.It was another 40 years before Marton got itís own church, a plain brick built church dedicated to St Paul opened in 1800. It was 1892 almost a hundred years later before a fee of £2.2s was paid for the separation from St Chadís. (The vicar at St Chadís is still the patron of St Paulís.) In 1897 it was decided to erect a new church in "preference to repairing and restoring the old one", and on 22 January 1908 the first sod was cut. The consecration took place on 28th May 1909 but due to lack of funds the bell tower and the chancel were not built at this stage.
In 1900 the first Church council was formed, and around this time the Annual tea parties and Garden parties were started to raise funds for a Chancel for the new church and to pay the ever increasing Diocesan Quota! The Motherís Union branch had been started and a Young Peoples union and the 16th Guides had been formed. In June 1930 the foundation stone of the new Parish Hall was laid and later that year Marton Choral & Operatic Society performed their first opera. The society is still flourishing and in 2005 celebrated its 75th anniversary. The vicar also encouraged the formation of a football team, and it soon became an annual event for the choir and sidesmen to play the Marton St Paulís team on New Yearís day. The first Anniversary Parade soon followed with the addition of a Rose Queen a few years later. (Sadly that was discontinued in the early 1990ís) A Brownie Pack, Scout Troop, Young Wives Group (now the womenís fellowship) were also formed.
In the mid 1950ís fund raising started once again for the long awaited extension. Large-scale bazaars and a generous bequest enabled plans to be drawn up and on May 29th 1957 the new chancel was dedicated. It was 48 years after the church was first dedicated. Over the next few years a new classroom was built at Baines School, the Parish Hall was modernised and decorated and a branch of the Church of England Menís Society was formed (sadly no longer in existence.) Around 1970 ecumenical links with St John Vianney and Waterloo Methodist Church began to be formed with the priests at all 3 churches encouraging Church Unity. This has now grown and now St Paulís and St John Vianneyís have a partnership agreement and the United Reform Church and the Salvation Army are now part of our Marton Churches Together Group.In the 1970ís the scout group re-opened and a second brownie pack and guide company opened, a group for motherís and toddlers and the Youth club also flourished.In the early 1990ís a music group was formed but this only continued for a few years.
Towards the end of the last century it became obvious that a large amount of money was needed to modernise the parish Hall and the Church. After many meetings much thought and lots of prayer it was decided to sell the Parish Hall and modernise the church, making it suitable for worship and community use. In 2004 the Hall was sold, to become a theatre school, thus still serving the purpose for which it was built. The money from the sale plus another very generous bequest helped our fund raising tremendously and enabled us to modernise the church which was rededicated in 2005, 48 years after the chancel was first built.
While all this has been going on links with Baines School, which had become very tenuous, have been strengthened and more classrooms and a new hall have been built, as well as a new childrenís centre from Government funding. It is with great joy that St Georgeís school has now become a C. of E. school, belonging to four ecclesiastical parishes of which St Paulís is one.
Over the years there have been many ups and downs, times of depression when visions seem impossible to achieve, but always with a lot of prayer, faith, and hard work these visions have been achieved.
Copyright 2009 St Paul's Marton.