Bridge Street, Macclesfield, SK11 6EG
Innovative engineering in this commanding church that hosted John Wesley as preacher
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Built in 1775 by local industrialist Charles Roe, Christ Church was constructed of brick, using innovative cast iron columns to support the galleries. This is a very early use of cast iron in a church and may reflect Roe’s innovative and entrepreneurial character. The east window glass was given in memory of Charles Roe’s son, daughter-in-law and grandson, and Roe’s ornate monument, in marble, is on the south wall. It lists a detailed description of his achievements and shows in relief his silk mill (with waterwheel), his copper works in Liverpool, and Christ Church itself.
The interior resembles a modern concert hall designed so that the congregation could all see and hear the preacher. The original pulpit was more than 3.5 metres high, allowing the preacher to command the attention of his congregation throughout this large church.
John Wesley, the founder of Methodism preached from this pulpit at least 12 times. Though now somewhat altered, the pulpit still survives. The outspoken preacher David Simpson, a radical socialist who championed the cause of the poor and helped found the Sunday School Movement was the much-loved first minister of Christ Church. A window depicting the Good Samaritan, commemorates him.
The church has a fine ring of 10 bells, which are still used regularly.
Opening times on the CCT website
Marthwaite, Vale of Lune, Sedbergh, LA10 5ED
A plain church with railway connections, and filled with glass delights inspired by nature
This chapel was built in the early 1860s by the Upton family, when the London and North Western Railway was building its Ingleton branch and sent a Scripture Reader to the navvies.
Attached to a cottage, it is a plain building perhaps designed by a railway engineer; but inside a delightful and colourful series of stained glass windows by Frederick George Smith depict river scenes, trees and plants, as well as birds and animals found locally. These were installed in about 1900 when the church was refurnished.
Brougham, Penrith, CA10 2AD
Venture down a long track to discover an enchanting and memorable church
Known locally as Ninekirks, St Ninian's stands remote down a long track, above a bend in the River Eamont and with views of the Pennines and the Lake District. It is worth finding both for its lovely setting and its fascinating history.
The original Norman church was completely rebuilt in the 17th century by Lady Anne Clifford, who inherited Brougham Castle. Her restoration work is recorded in the plasterwork above the altar, in a wreath with her initials AP (Anne Pembroke the Earl of Pembroke was her second husband) with the date 1660.
The building is almost unaltered since, and its simplicity, combined with excellent workmanship, make it both enchanting and memorable. The interior is whitewashed, with clear glass in the windows and a stone flagged floor.
The fine oak fittings include box pews, and family pews with canopies, an elegant screen, and a three-decker pulpit.
School Lane, Pilling, Lancaster, PR3 6HD
This remote coastal church with a stunning Georgian interior is the resting place of a prizefighter
This remote coastal church might look simple and unassuming from the outside, but it has a stunning unspoiled Georgian 'preaching box’ interior.
Large windows illuminate the wonderful wood furnishings with the cool, watery light of the surrounding marshland.
Outside is the grave of Reverend G. Potter. He was a prizefighter, and was said to have fought thrice and preached twice one Sunday.
The new St John the Baptist church, built in 1887, stands 100 metres away.
North Road, Lancaster, LA1 1PA
A boom-time church for a rich city parish
St John’s is a product of industry and prosperity, built in 1754-55 when the congregation of the nearby Priory church became too large.The class Georgain tower was added in 1784.
Lancaster’s port on the River Lune was thriving, the population was growing and the church reflects this in it's stylish, urbane interior. Everything about it is smart.
There are galleries over the aisles and numbered box pews below.The church is full of gleaming polished wood and rich colours.
Two Victorian stained-glass windows are both sumptuous and subtle.
Church Green, Warburton, Warrington, WA13 9SS
A timber-framed haven near the ship canal
The ancient church of St Werburgh is 1,000 years old and is still a secluded place of peace despite its closeness to the M6, the Manchester Ship Canal and the industrial north-west.
Named after a Saxon abbess who became the patron saint of Chester, it is one of only 27 timber-framed churches in England. Inside, rough-hewn timber uprights support the roof beams, gnarled and twisted like the trees they once were.
Fixtures and furnishings show St Werburgh’s journey through time, from a 12th-century stone sarcophagus to the patch of 19th-century Minton tiles on the floor, giving you a strong sense of the many generations of ordinary people who have worshipped here and cherished their church.
Ideal to combine with a visit to the nearby St George’s at Carrington.
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