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The Church of St Matthew, Highfield, Pemberton
in the County of
-- Lancashire --

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The first register book of Highfield St Matthew was opened on 12 Jan 1873 and continues through to 27 Oct 1889. The title page and most pages of baptisms are headed Pemberton Colliery Iron Church. A few pages, such as No.52 refer to the building as St Matthew’s Iron Church. The next register book from 1889 to 1903 makes no mention of the Iron Church, using the title and page heading Pemberton, St Matthew’s District. A significant exception is on page 32 in July 1894 when the page is headed St Matthew’s Memorial Church.

According to the St Matthew’s website the Iron Church and school was built in 1867 by Colonel Henry Blundell, the owner of the Pemberton Collieries. As a memorial to his late wife, Henry Blundell founded a new stone church in 1892 that was dedicated to St Matthew and licensed on the 4th July, 1894; hence the heading on page 32 in the 1889-1903 baptism register. St Matthew Highfield continued as a district in Pemberton parish till late 1910 when it became a parish in its own right. The change is noted in the 1903-1912 baptism register on page 54 on 25 Dec 1910 when for the first time the heading reads Parish of St Matthew Highfield. Marriages at St Matthew commenced at this time with the 1st entry in the 1910-1912 register on 14 Dec 1910 at the District Church of St Matthew Highfield, and the 2nd on 2 Jan 1911 at the Parish Church of St Matthew Highfield, Pemberton.

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