Congregational Church on Crow Lane

Whilst the old Congregational Church on Crow Lane is being rebuilt into apartments, I thought this would be the right time, to add into the website some of the information I have about it, from various sources.

The Congregational Church (new), Crow Lane, c1915The first recorded preaching of the Gospel, in Newton, by a Congregational minister is given in the “Memoirs of the Rev. William Alexander,” written by his son, the Rev. John Alexander, Minister of Princes Street Chapel, Norwich, and published, in 1856, by Fletcher and Alexander of that town. During the fathers residence in Prescot (1802-1811) he visited Newton, and from this interesting book we take the account of his visit and reception:-

The town of Newton is about nine miles from Prescot. “I knew,” says my father, “that no gospel was preached there, and therefore, on Sunday, July 27th, 1806, I went to the place, after preaching at home in the morning and afternoon. Not being likely to obtain any house, I sent several boys to inform the people that there would be preaching immediately at the cross. I stood on the steals of the cross, and a very considerable number of persons soon assembled. I read, and commented on the latter part of the fourth chapter to the Ephesians. After prayer, I read my text, Amos iv. 12, `Prepare to meet thy God. I had not preached many minutes before I saw a stout-looking man making his way through the crowd. I did not like his appearance, nor the manner in which he was moving towards me; nor did I like his conversation when he began to speak. Come down, said he, with a very commanding voice. I intend to come down when I have done. Who authorized you to call these people together? The people are behaving well, and will continue to do so, if you will only let them and me alone. But I wont let you alone; come down. I wont come down except force and violence compel me. Then force and violence shall. And, continues my father, he was as good, or rather as bad as his word, for he pulled me down. The people, however, were much offended, and some of them upbraided him for his rude behaviour. Lord, lay not this sin to his charge. Short as the service was, I humbly hope that it was not altogether in vain.” Some time afterwards, a religious woman, probably the only religious person in the place was requested to go and see a gentleman in the town. She found him very ill; and on expressing her surprise that he should have sent for her, he said he thought that he was not likely to recover, and feared that he was not prepared to meet his God. He had felt very anxious about his soul ever since he heard the preacher who was pulled down from the cross by the constable. In referring to this gentleman, my fattier used to say, “Who can tell?”

During his residence in Leigh (1811-1825), the Rev. William Alexander visited Newton and preached from the steps of the cross, which at that time, though near the church, was not enclosed in the churchyard:

My fathers removal from Prescot to Leigh brought hint within six miles of the place [Newton]. “I felt,” says he, “a strong desire to revenge the rude treatment which I met with when I attempted to preach there some years before. I knew that the man who pulled inc off the cross was still there, and I expected that he would interrupt me again; but I determined to venture. One Sabbath evening, therefore, I took some of the singers with me from Leigh; gave them the hymns which were to be sung; and told them that, if any one began to interrupt, they were to begin singing one of the hymns to as loud and lively a tune as they could find. I then sent boys through the town to give notice of the preaching, and soon had a large congregation. I did not at first perceive the man I feared, but, when I stood a little higher, he called out from the crowd, I11 bring you down from that. Ah, my old friend, said I, is that you? Well, if you do pull me down, it wont be the first time.” Who gave you authority to assemble these people together? Conte now, I haven?t time to talk with you at present, for I am not about my Masters business. Let us sing a verse or two. When the song began he walked off, and the service was peacefully carried on. At the conclusion of it, I gave notice that, God willing, I would preach there next Sunday evening. On that occasion the singers arrived there before the time of service. As I was approaching the town, I met them returning in great haste. Whats the matter? I asked. O, Sir, they replied, go back; the man is there with his son; they have got great sticks; and we heard them swear that when you came they would roast you Well, never mind if they do. Keep yourselves far enough from the fire, and you II come to no harm. But will you go, Sir? Most certainly I will. I told them last Sunday that I would be there to-night, God willing. I didnt say if that fellow was willing. You can go home if you choose. They would not do this, however, so we went together. When we got there, a .great crowd of people was assembled, but the boasting roaster was gone home, and he never afterwards molested me. His house was not very far from the cross, and I have observed that, when I have been preaching, I have sometimes seen him standing at his door, and apparently listening. Occasionally he was seen among the congregation, and once he knocked a boy down who was behaving ill. After some time had elapsed, I determined to call at his house; and when I did so, I found him alone. I said to him, If you and I are looking after another and better world, the better it will be for us.” Well, said he, there are no great matters in this. Ive been telling Colonel Claughton that you should have that place to preach in, pointing to the school-room. Its no use going to the church, the preaching there doesnt take hold as yours does; which seemed as if his conscience had been touched. When I saw him afterwards, his health appeared to be declining. I exhorted him to think of his past ways; to humble himself before God, who was ready to pardon the penitent and praying sinner. I do pray, said he. I then spoke to him of the importance of believing in Christ, who died to save the chief of sinners. I never saw him after that.”

My father preached at Newton three times every fortnight for several years, besides paying frequent visits to distribute tracts and to call on the people in their own houses; so that, in the course of a year, he walked a thousand miles to and from that town. “I bless the Lord,” says he, ” that my poor labours there have not been altogether in vain in the Lord ; and, remembering the feebleness and unworthiness of the instrument, I may well say, the Excellency of the power is not of man but of God. “Since that time a commodious chapel has been erected there, and, more recently, a day school has been built, in connection with the chapel, at the expense of a private gentleman.

After the Rev. William Alexanders removal from Leigh, little appears to have been done until 1836, when a number of devout Christians met for worship in a cottage in Stone Row, off Gas-street. (The late James Pilling told us that the stone to build this row was obtained from the little quarry in the lane, situate in front of the site of All Saints Church. The houses in the row were recently demolished as in-sanitary.) The early friends of this movement were a devout Scotchman employed at the Glassworks, Messrs, Waugh and Hoggatt, officers of excise, and Mr. McColl, of St. Helens.

Newton is first mentioned in the Lancashire Congregational Reports in 1839, in connection with, the church at Ashton-in-Makerfield, in which year Mr. Berry was supplying the vacant pulpit there, and also introducing the preaching of the Gospel into Newton with pleasing prospects of success. The house in which the worship was conducted was filled to overflowing with nearly a hundred attentive hearers. In August of this year, the Rev. G. S. Spencer was the pastor at Ashton, and, besides preaching twice on a Sunday there, he conducted the service at Newton in the evening. The report for 1840 is as follows:-

At Newton the Divine blessing has attended the attempt recently made to introduce the preaching of the Gospel, in a most marked and delightful manner. The attendance is excellent, and there being several persons of wealth and influence amongst those who are friendly to the cause, they have resolved to build a chapel, in aid of which desirable object funds to the amount of ?300 are already pledged in the immediate neighbourhood of Newton. The expense is estimated at about £10,000. The congregation is from 60 to 80. It is worthy of note that in January last the owner of the house in which the preaching is held at Newton, and his wife, were admitted into the church at Ashton, being the first fruits of Newton to Christ. Since February 16th, there has been preaching in the morning as well as the evening, at Newton, the peculiar circumstances of the case requiring it. There seems to be a wide and effectual door now opened in that place; all that is required is a suitable labourer to enter in, and a Divine blessing to rest upon his labours.

Speaking at a meeting held on the completion of the new Church, the Rev. James Allatt thus referred to the infant Church at Newton :-

It is only natural, perhaps, that to-day I should think of the spiritual yearnings, the desire for Christian fellowship and cons= mullion one with another, and with God, which some forty years ago [1836], led a few earnest men and woollen (of whom the greater part have fallen asleep, but some remain to this day) to meet for worship in one of the cottages of Stone Row or elsewhere. They belonged to different sections of the Church upon earth; some had been trained as Episcopalians, others as Presbyterians, some as Baptists, Congregationalists, and Wesleyan Methodists, but, for the love of God and love of man, and because the religious instinct within them could not be repressed, they sank their differences and laid, as it proved, the foundation of this, the first of the Free Churches of this district. We think to-night of those who did foundation-work, who toiled and wrought when the difficulties were great and the encouragements (on the earthly side, at least) were small indeed. Their names are not forgotten; some of them are still represented in the young men and maidens around us. Lt its history this church has had more than one kind of ministry, and yet it is honourable testimony to its substantial unity of faith and purpose that only three have preceded me in its pastorate, and of these one died in harness and his grave is with us to this day. Since we began our work the neighbourhood has increased vastly; other churches have consequently grown up, and in the Masters name we wish them God-speed. If in this district, at least, they are younger than we, the relationship should be that of mother and daughters?the mother regarding with joy the daughters growth in height and comeliness, while they behold with pleasurable satisfaction the health and vigour that still belong to her. And thus after all and notwithstanding what I said at the outset?this is a kind of family party, From time to time one and another have gone forth from us, changing their names as they did so as is not unusual in families but our differences are only as those of brothers and sisters, for we acknowledge one God and Father of us all.

Mr. Campbell informs us that “the old Chapel was mainly built by the brothers Joseph and Josiah Evans, of Haydock, out of their private purse. . The site was originally leased by Mr. Isaac Sharpe, a bookseller of St. Helens, who transferred it to them as building land. When Mr. Thomas Legh heard of it, he said they had `choused him out of it, but, for all that, he would give them the stone to build it with, and probably the quarry at Woodhead was opened at that time. It is said that the stone of it is laid against the grain; if so, it was typical of the feeling at the time. However, when the new Church was built, the old lease was surrendered, and a new one was given in lieu of it, and new laird on better terms. This spoke well for the improved spirit of the time and generosity of the Lord of the Manor.”

“The Chapel” (to quote the Rev. B. Nightingales work, “Lancashire Nonconformity”):- “was designed by Sir James Picton, who had an early connection with the locality through his mother, Esther Alanson, of Haydock. It was preceded by two other buildings, which, when ready for roofing, had to be pulled down, owing to the powerful opposition of the then Rector of Winwick and others. It was opened for worship on May I2th, 1842, by the Revs. Dr. Raffles and John Kelly, of Liverpool, and Dr. Nolan, of Manchester. On the 13th of December following a church was formally constituted, ten members being dismissed from the Ashton Church for the purpose, and the next day the first minister at Newton, the Rev. Robert Massie, was `solemnly recognized.”

In addition to preaching in the new chapel, Mr. Massie held services at the Vulcan Foundry, where he had an attendance of 100, and at the Chemical Works, where he had 35. Mr. Massie stayed at Newton until 1849, and was followed by the Rev. Theophilus Davies. He remained until 1857, and was succeeded by the Rev. William Spencer Ball, who died of consumption on the 6th February, 1861, aged 46 years, and is buried it1 the northern portion of the graveyard. Mr. Ball was succeeded by the Rev. James Allatt in 1863. The style of the chapel is Gothic, and is constructed of red sandstone obtained from the Woodhead Quarry. The building accommodated about 400 persons. The oriel window, in the centre of the front wall above the entrance doors, is filled with stained-glass figures emblematic of the four Evangelists, the work of Pilkington Brothers, of St. Helens.

The Rev. J. Baldwin Brown, preaching at the opening of the new Church, said, in reference to the old building:-

About thirty six years ago [1842], he preached almost his first sermon in the old building on the left hand. He could remember the time when it was considered to he a wonderful building. He did not know what some of their old friends would think if they could see the present beautiful church. The building of the old church was thought a very great work indeed. In it there was a little of the Gothic form which was breaking out into beauty in those days, but it had now fully grown. When he stood in that pulpit and saw such a large congregation in that beautiful sanctuary, he could not help saying in his heart, “What hath God wrought!” He remembered the day of small things and of small congregations. They were thoroughly earnest Christians, and that was the reason why they were growing. He could remember the time when there was not a single house, or but very few houses, between that church and Earlestown Junction, whilst Haydock was growing so fast that it almost outgrew his recollection.

Mr Campbells Recollections of the Old Chapel and School :-

The Old Chapel was a unique and picturesque building till it was dwarfed by the New Church, though it was equally a church within its own yard – which is the difference between a church and a chapel that has no burial-ground. By the side of it, and proportionately small, was the old school and meeting-place. In this I passed my novitiate while as yet it was a day-school. My attendance began in 1848, under Mr. Hutchinson, when I was ten years of age. We had removed to Crow-lane end, from High-street, to one of the three houses built there by J. H. in that year; and, being nearer to Crow-lane than to the Cockpit, I was sent to Crow-lane, where I profited by the teaching for two years, till I was sent for two years to the Tilery, and for other four years was in the office of the Brickery and Pottery, where my first duty was to pay the last tax on bricks at Wigan. During my school-time I must have shown some aptitude, for, on leaving Newton, the schoolmaster offered to take me with him to Yorkshire as a pupil-teacher; but the time was not opportune. For a while my brother, cousin, and I went to a night-school at Crow-lane to keep up our practice. I never was coerced, though I once saw a boy severely caned and cast out. But Mr. Hutchinson could be very caustic. One day he said to me, “Why do you shake your head? There is nothing in it! “However, I for-gave him, for he tried to put something into it, and for that I owe him many thanks. When we sang of “the curly-headed boy who never told a lie,” the whole school seemed to look at me, for I was curly-headed. One escapade I had in falling through one of the four windows, but escaped unhurt, though the window was wrecked. At that time the right-hand side of the school was the chapel wall. Along it, and on the opposite side, were hung pictures of places, birds, beasts, reptiles, and other natural objects, with their history on the reverse side. These I studied during meal-time. And there was a rare collection of fossils from the Haydock coal-mines that were often inspected.

My next appearance at the day-school was in 1855, when I was seventeen, and had been sent to learn hook-keeping by double entry of Mr. Snell, the last schoolmaster, who told me that I knew it better than he did ? for it was my daily occupation; but, to please a partner of my uncle in a tilery at Rixton, I had to obtain a certificate of competency from a certificated teacher. In 1883 I found this diploma was quite useless, without the daily practice, when applying for a situation as foreign correspondent. And this has led to the introduction of shoals of foreigners whose only asset was knowledge of their own mother tongue and a smattering of English, to the discouragement of native talent.

On the opening of the National Schools (1860), the Crow-lane school was closed for want of Government aid, and the Sunday-school, that had been kept up all along, dwindled away, for the influence that had filled the day-school with scholars from far and wide being removed, the scholars found places nearer home on Sundays; and, except for the gradual increase in the population, would have had few but the children of the members of the congregation. With the best intentions, the superintendents could not surmount the inherent difficulties, though they were happy in their work. Mr. Robert Glover and Mr. William Bury were the first that I remember, while the venerable figures of Mr. and Mrs. Wallington were noteworthy as members, with Doctor Mather and his family, Mr. Mannington, and Mr. Lomas. This depression lasted till the Rev. James Allatt came in 1863, and, urged by my mother, I joined the Sunday-school, and immediately found the benefit of being brought in contact with such a spiritually-minded man as Mr. John Harvey, the superintendent, Two years after I offered myself as a candidate for membership to Mr. Allatt. Mr. Harvey brought the habits of his great business capacity to bear on the school business, and under his management the school refilled to overflowing, a new school was built, and also a new church. Mr Allatt was equally successful in his pastorate, and his literary capacity led to our having a series of first-class lectures in 1864-5-69.

With the Rev. W. S. Ball, I came but little in contact beyond in connection with the Mechanics Institution. The Rev. Theophilus Davies lived in a house near Mr. Thorps in Crow-lane, and, as we also had gone to a house opposite to St. Marys Church, I saw him and his faculty frequently, and, with my sister, often heard him both at chapel and at school, which all along had been the week-day meeting-house of mane worthy people, whose names almost exhaust the alphabet. Dr. Mather, with his two sons, John and Horatio, and his two daughters, Mary and Margaret, and Mr. and Mrs. Austin, of Earlestown, formed the choir, and occupied the gallery, and Robert Glover accompanied on the bass fiddle, while the congregation sang right heartily. After that a desire was expressed to get an harmonium. Up to that time the choir had rejoiced that they were unpaid; but the player of this novelty (Mr. Paul Critchley) insisted on being paid something – a mere bagatelle – yet it broke the charm in undervaluing the services of the choir and choir-master, Mr. Dick, who scorned to take pay for what before had been a pleasure, although it entailed endless copying of original and very select music in all its parts?a most valuable collection of both sacred and secular music, and of monetary value, that he took with him when he retired on the appointment of an organist in the new church. When Curwens system of musical notation – was first introduced, there was a school gallery full of aspirants, and I was on the top seat, but was ultimately at the bottom as representing my calibre of voice. From that time forth I was associated with choirs and choral parties till the time of my exit in 1883.

The chapel was as impressive to my youthful fancy as well inside as outside, and whether seen from the pew or from the gallery; and, even when its destiny was changed from a chapel to a Sunday-school, the oriel window in the north looked down upon a multitude of young people prepared to carry on the old work, for a long time the choir occupied the gallery, and for a good while after the harmonium was in use. The right-hand corner pew at the entrance was occupied by Mr. and Mrs. Josiah Evans and family, while the left was occupied by Mr. Richard Evans, senior, and Mr. Joseph and Miss Ruth Evans. At that time latent musical talent met in the National Schools, where Mr. Dick conducted the secular and Mr Armitage the sacred services or practices, with a numerous circle. Dr. Horatio Mather and his family did good and thankworthy service in a time of need and but little help, and so did Mr. Dick on a much more extensive scale, both at home and at the church.

My attendance at Sunday-school had been intermittent while I was at the Tilery, but old Mr. Battersby, of Haydock whose well-thumbed Bible I also remember?was my teacher, and laid the foundation of my religious education that Mr. Harvey built upon, and put me to teaching from class to class to the top. But we had not been quite idle, for under the active presidency of Mr. Heaton, a Wigan solicitor, we had been affiliated into a Sunday-school association, and sent delegates to and received delegates from at least a dozen other schools. This gave us experience and kept up the interest in the work, and encouraged others also.

At a lecture delivered, on the 2nd November, 1864, by Mr. Heaton, in the schoolroom, Mr. Allatt presiding, it was pro-posed by Mr. Harvey, seconded by Mr. Campbell, “that a Mutual Improvement Class be formed, and these lectures be continued.” It was also proposed that Messrs. Joseph Gibbon, David Wilson, Collins, and John Harvey be appointed acting committee to carry into effect this arrangement. A preliminary meeting, which had been announced from the pulpit the previous Sunday, was held – present, the Rev. J. Allatt (president), Messrs. Harvey, Mannington, Murray, Wilson, Lomas, Gibbon, Collins, Campbell, Croft, Davies, and Battersby, and Mesdames Allatt and Mannington, and Misses Murray and Mannington, and Mr. P. M. Campbell as secretary. It was then arranged that Mr. Harvie should read the first paper, and the Rev. James Allatt should deliver the first lecture. The essays were read in the vestry; the lectures were given in the school, all except Mr. Coopers, which was in the old chapel, so that Crow-lane, from the outset, did its share in the pioneer work, amid many difficulties.

SYLLABUS 1869-70.
Oct. 28
Nov. 16
“The Lime Light
(with Experiments)”
Nov. 22
“Evidences of Christianity”
THOMAS COOPER, Esq., { Author of ” Purgatory ` of Suicides,” ).
Nov. 23
N.B- These two Lectures at 7-30 – Admission Free.
Dec. 14
“Characteristics of the English Language”
Dec. 21
Jan. 11
“Carbon and its Changes”
Mr. C. A, KELLY,
Jan. 18
“The Food we Eat”
Feb. 1
, “Life and Labours of . Josiah Wedgwood “
Feb. 22
“Coal Mines and Mining”
Mar. 8
(Subject announced later)
Professor ROGERS, (Author of ” Eclipse of Faith,”).
Mar. 22
”Music, with Illustrations”
Mr, J N Dick.
Lectures in Schoolroom at 8 oclock. Admission 2d. ; Front Seat, 6d

The following lectures were also delivered under the auspices of the Improvement Society:

Rev. Dr. W. M. TAYLOR (Bootle, afterwards of New York).?”William Cowper.”
Rev. MARMADUKE MILLER (Manchester).?”John Wesley.”
Leo H. GRINDON, Esq. (Manchester).?”The Commercial Uses of Botany.”
Dr. GEORGE MACDONALD (London).?”Macbeth.” “Hamlet.”
(Restorer of the Extinct Animals at the Crystal Palace, London).
?”Anatomy of Animals and Evolution,” with Blackboard Illustrations. Rev. Dr. MACFADYRN (Manchester).?”Epitaphs.”
Rev. HUGH STOWELL, BROWN (Liverpool).?” Mottoes.” “The Good Old Times.”
Rev. JOHN YONCE (Warrington).?”John Wycliffe.”
Rev. Professor H. GRIFFITHS (Bowdon).?”Ghosts and Ghost Seers.”
Rev. ARTHUR MURSELL (Manchester).?”Chatterton.”
(Author of “Worship Song”).-“St. Bernard.”
Rev. JAMES ALLATT ?”The Words we use and Lessons from them.”
& “The Wit and Wisdom of Thomas Fuller”
(Author of “The Purgatory of Suicides.”)
?”Darwinism.”& “Celebrities I have known.”

Like as in every community, there were perfervid members who thought it incumbent on them to punctuate the remarks from the pulpit or at prayer-meetings with interjections, till it became intolerable, and I heard one openly rebuked by Mr. Josiah Evans; but this was quite an exception to the usual decorum observed in all the meetings. The singing was always good and hearty, while the teaching was mostly tactful and by qualified persons who gave time to the work ; and the teachers meetings were always helpful, as well as the meetings for prayer. In the new school Mr. Allatts daughters helped us efficiently.

For fully forty years we had an annual trip from the Sunday-school so as to avoid the contamination of the Races, and it was always well patronized by the public, till at last it was merged in the Whitsun-week festivities supported by the other and newer schools, and so an ideal was lost. The School Association too died away, but while it lasted it brought together the representatives of schools that would otherwise never have met, and in convocation. Many and various were our experiences at that time in these visitations, always in couples; but, as the school filled, we found it better to concentrate our efforts on the home work. A penny bank was started and habits of thrift inculcated. It was worked in early days by Mr. R. Palmer and Mr. C. A. Kelly, junior. Later on it was conducted by Mr. Thomas Thompson, who devoted unwearied labour to its interests, and brought it to the highest point of success in 1898, when, having served its purpose, it was dissolved. A testimonial was presented to Mr. Thompson in hearty appreciation of his long and faithful service as secretary. Mr. Moses Battersby died 23rd June, 1908, having been the secretary of the Sunday-school for upwards of forty-five years.

A new school was very much and urgently wanted, and mainly by Mr. Harvies indomitable resolution and indefatigable exertions we got it, and soon after a new church by the same means. These were a heavy drain on the resources of the congregation, but they were cheerfully met and the difficulties overcome. To the intense regret of everyone, Mr. Harvie retired from the superintendence of the schools and soon died, having delegated the duties of his office, for a short time, to Mr. John Evans, who in turn shared that office with Mr. Campbell, who in turn surrendered his Bible class to Mr. Allatt, and was transferred to Dr. Macfadyens, of Manchester. Of meetings, concerts, and tea-parties, it is impossible to recall all the activities, suffice to say they were all duly recorded at the time in the Wigan Observer by this same hand. And it remains for those who come after to do as well or better, Deo volente.

The New Church

The steadily increasing population of the township, with the consequent increase in the Congregationalist body, in the course of time made the small chapel of 1842 inadequate for the needs of the congregation, so a committee was formed for the object of building a larger and grander place of worship. Generous offers of support were received from the Evanss family and the more affluent in the neighbourhood, plans were obtained, and in 1875 the building was commenced. Three years later (March 20th, 1878) the completed church was opened for public worship. At a meeting held at that time, the pastor (the Rev. James Allatt) said:

The plans of our new church, by Messrs. W. and J. Hay, Liverpool, were first laid before you on the 18th February, 1875, and at once won our admiration as the building itself has since won that of all who have seen it. A building committee was at once formed, and, at this stage of its work, I may be permitted to say that this congregation can never fully know with what patience and zeal and unwearied devotion that committee have laboured, month after month, to accomplish the work entrusted to them. Never, surely, has any church been more faithfully and generously served. Upon that committee has rested the not inconsiderable burden of our great undertaking, and they deserve your hearty sympathy and lasting gratitude. We have now fairly taken possession of our new sanctuary, and this old building (old not in years but in hallowed associations) is already adapted – or nearly so – to its future use as a Sunday school; and in that use it receives a kind of new consecration. Our work is not done, however. For one thing, the bills are not all paid nor is the money yet forthcoming to do this. The depression of trade has been considerable, but the committee have fully believed in your earnest intention to support theist by the fulfilment of the promises made, and, being persuaded that only time was needed for this, they have gone on and, as a friend humorously put it, have certainly not “spoiled the ship for want of a haporth of tar.” In another and higher sense our work is indeed only beginning, and it appeals to us for resolute action and for the energy of prayer.

The following were the principal members of the committee:

The Rev. James Allatt (president), Mr. John Harvie (treasurer), Mr. P. M. Campbell (secretary), and Messrs. B. B. Glover, E. T. Evans, J. Evans, M. Battersby, T. Thompson, R. Lomas, C. H. Bodmer, George Henry (formerly Alderman Henry of Bolton), Samuel Birks, F. J. Holmes, and W. D. Burdis.

The Rev. James Allatt also speaks very highly of the services of Mr. Bodmer in the suggesting and the designing of plans for the improvement of the structure.

The style of the church is Gothic, of the early decorated kind; the tower and spire, 143 feet high, is generally and deservedly admired; and the building as a whole presents a very fine appearance. The entire work, including the adaptation of the old building to Sunday-school uses, cost nearly ?10,000. The architects were Messrs. W. and J. Hay, of Liverpool; the contractors, Messrs. R. Wells and Son, of the same town ; and Mr. J. W. Randle was the clerk of the works. The site was the gift of the late W. J. Legh, Esq., the Lord of the Manor. When it was opened there was a mortgage upon it of ?1,200, which was paid off in 1890.

Extract from the Warrington Guardian:-

The northern elevation consists of a massive tower and spire on the west side of a large nave gable, pierced with two lofty double-light windows with marigold window above, flanked by the west staircase and approached by a large projecting northern porch. The walls of the edifice are faced with Yorkshire shoddies, and the dressings to doors and windows are of a light red freestone. The church is lighted at the sides by a range of five triplets under separate gablets, breaking the line of the roof, and below is a range of narrow lancets for lighting the galleries. Passing through the northern porch, we enter a vestibule, 25 feet by 12 feet, extending through arches into the tower and western staircases. Two doors from this vestibule conduct to the body of the church, 70 feet long by 50 feet wide, divided by cast-iron pillars with caps of wrought-iron foliage into nave and aisles of five bays, the whole covered with open roofing constructed with longitudinal and transverse arches. The gallery extends round two sides of the church and over the large vestibule at the north end, and with the ground floor is capable of seating 900 people. At the south end of the church in the centre, upon a platform raised two steps, are placed the communion table and ministers chair, behind which rises the pulpit ascended by a short flight of steps from each side, and surmounted by a canopy and floriated cross. On each side of the pulpit platform is a door leading into the ministers vestry, and a stair to the spacious organ chamber and choir gallery. This chamber is apsidal in plan and section, and entirely lined and coiled with smooth narrow boarding of two tints, and seems admirably adapted for musical acoustics. It opens out its full width to the church by a hand-some moulded arch of reel and white freestone. The carpentry of the roof is wholly exposed to view and slightly stained and varnished, the front of the gallery, the open benches, and other joiner work being of well-selected pitch-pine, cleanly worked and varnished. The open benches have been most carefully constructed both with regard to comfort in sitting and kneeling. The vestibule and passages are laid with variegated tiles, and the bench-ends are provided with umbrella racks and water trays. The churchyard is tastefully laid out with gravelled walks and grass verges and is planted with trees and shrubs. The whole is surrounded with a stout wall, and enclosed in front with a low wall and wrought-iron railing, with a pair of massive gate pillars and gates at each extremity.

The Church as viewed from the Oak Tree end of Crow Lane
The church was opened on Wednesday, March 20th, 1878, the sermon being preached by the Rev. J. Baldwin Brown, B.A., Chairman of the Congregational Union. In the course of his sermon, the reverend gentleman thus referred to the new building:-

He was, he must confess, surprised at the spaciousness and beauty of the place in which he had had the pleasure of speaking that day. He was not prepared to see such a building, but he could assure them that they had done wisely. It must have been a strain to them to raise such a church, and lie congratulated them heartily that it had cost them a strain. Those who had had the hardest work in connection with it, and had borne the chief burden, would be the happiest that day. He was glad that Mr. Legh, of Lyme, had generously given the laud, and he thought that, if Mr. Legh could have been present that afternoon, and could have seen that large congregation, be would have been very glad. It ought to be recognized as the greatest act of charity. They had reared a building which was an honour to the neighbourhood, and he rejoiced to have that opportunity of speaking in it. . . They had done wisely in preparing not only for their own needs, but for the needs of those who would follow them. In the course of a few years, the adjoining fields would be covered with houses, and he was glad to see that they had lengthened their cords so as to take in a large future. They had done their work bravely and heartily, and he thought they had a right to expect that their friends would be willing to show their sympathy with them by making a handsome collection. A great work had to be done, and a considerable sum of money was still needed.

The collections on this day and the following Sunday amounted to ?130.


In the vestibule of the new church are the following inscriptions on the memorials to departed worthies:

In Memory of WILLIAM STEVENSON, First Deacon of this Church and Superintendent of the Sabbath School, Who died 19th Nov., 1844, Aged 64, He was just, devout, and zealous In the promotion of his Redeemers Cause. “He being dead yet speaketh.” This tribute of respect to departed worth is erected by Members of the Church and Friends who valued his character.

To the Memory of ANN, Wife of RICHARD EVANS, of Haydock, Who died Dec. l0th, 1847, aged 62 years. The memory of the just is blessed.”? Prov. X. 7.

Erected by the Members of this Congregation, As a tribute of respect, To the memory of JOSIAH EVANS, ESQ., Of Haydock. Who died 11th June, 1873, Aged 52 years, his simple piety, his constant interest in the welfare of this Church, and his liberal and unostentatious support of its work, during a long course of years, will be held in lasting remembrance. “What-so-ever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might. The path of the just is as the shining light that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.”

Inside the church, on the northern wall, are two marble plaques, with monograms, inscribed as under:

To him that knoweth to do good and doeth it not, to him it is sin.”

In Memory of my Father, decd. 13th Aug, 1864, aged. 86 yrs. Erected by RUTH EVANS. “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might.”

In Memory of my Mother, Who died Dec 10th 1847, aged. 63 yrs. Erected by JOSEPH EVANS.

And between these plaques, on a large white marble tablet, are these inscriptions to the memory of members of the Evans family, of Haydock :-

In Memory of ANN EVANS, Wife of RICHARD EVANS, of Haydock, Who died Dec. 10th, 1847, aged 63 years.

Also of

HENRY EVANS, Son of JOSIAH and EMILY EVANS, Who died August l0th, 1850, aged 10 months.

Also of

EMILY EVANS, Wife of JOSIAH EVANS, of Haydock, Who died Dec. 13th, 1864, aged 32 years.

Also of

RICHARD EVANS, of Haydock, Who died August 13th, 1864, aged 86 years.

Also of

JOSIAH EVANS, of Haydock, Son of RICHARD and ANN EVANS, Who died June 11th, 1873, aged 52 years.

Also of

HENRY EVANS, Son of RICHARD and ANN EVANS, Who died April 15th, 1878, aged 54 years.

Also of

JOSIAH HADFIELD EVANS, Son of JOSIAH and LYDIA EVANS, Who was drowned on the Coast of Norway, July 15th, 1881, aged 22 years.

Also of

JOSEPH EVANS, Son of RICHARD and ANN EVANS, Who died May 31st, 1889, aged 71 years.

Also of

RUTH EVANS, Daughter of RICHARD and ANN EVANS, Who died August l0th, 1596, aged 77 years.

Also of

LYDIA EVANS, Wife of JOSIAH EVANS, Who died September 28th, 1904, aged 82 years.

“I am the resurrection and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: and whosoever li” eth and believeth in me shall never die.” – John xi. 25, 26.

On the same wall also appears a marble tablet to an active and respected member of the church:

In Loving Memory of THOMAS THOMPSON, Who died August 1st, 1907, in his 61st year, “A life well spent.”

On the southern wall of the interior of the church is a gilt-lettered marble scroll in memory of the respected wife of the Rev. James Allatt:

Erected By the Ladies of the Congregation, In Affectionate Remembrance of their Friend JANETTE ALLATT;, The Beloved Wife of the Rev. JAMES ALLATT, Pastor of this Church, Who for 33 years lived and worked amongst them. On her lips was the law of kindness, She was calm, gentle, firm, and wise, and a succourer of many. She entered into her rest August 3rd, 1897. “In Thy presence is the fullness of joy, At Thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.”

In the vestry is a framed copy of an address presented to the Rev. James Allatt, by the members and congregation, to commemorate the completion of 40 years faithful service as pastor of the church, and a photograph of the church and the pastor, the address being signed by Moses Battersby, Samuel Birks, Richard Jones, John Owen, Robert Lomas, and Henry Law, and dated March 25th, 1903.

RICHARD EVANS, Esq., died at St. Helens on August 13th, 1864, at the age of 86. A friend of ours, who knew the old gentleman, gives the following particulars : ” Mr. Evans was formerly in The Row, and succeeded sufficiently by bookselling to induce him to retire from business; subsequently he and his sons became colliery owners, and last year, when I dined with the old gentleman, who could tell his story and cut his joke pleasantly, and who seemed absorbed in the book he read, the firm owned some twenty-five locomotives, wagons by the hundred, pits by the dozen, houses, farms, schools, and buildings, as though they were princes. They paid in rent to Sir R. Gerard, ?5.000 a year, and to W. J. Legh, Esq. ?4,000 a year; their machine shop for repairs was large enough to embarrass many a machine maker. I was fairly bewildered with the magnitude of everything around me. The old than died touch respected, and one of his last acts was to stake provision to build a handsome Independent Chapel at Haydock. Fortune are made in The Row, but not always to such an extent as in this instance.”?Athenaeum.

Early in the century, says the Liverpool Post, Mr. Richard Evans, a publisher in Paternoster Row, having realised considerable wealth, left London, and commenced farming in the south, but agriculture was scarcely congenial to his business propensities, and he made his way to Liverpool with a keen eye to business. In 1830 he commenced a small colliery at Edge Green, near Golborne, and three years later he and a Mr. Turner took the Haydock Colliery from Mr. Thomas Legh, of Lyme, the lord of the manor. George Stephenson, the celebrated engineer, had been working the colliery for twelve months, this apparently being during a portion of the time at which the Liverpool and Manchester line, now North-Western, was being constructed. Prior to this a line of rails had been laid from the colliery to the Sankey Canal at Earlestown, and two or three locomotives were then running upon it. The firm of Turner and Evans continued until 1858, when Mr. Turner withdrew, and Mr. Evans took two sons, Joseph and Josiah, into partnership. A third son, Richard, was connected with the salt mines at Winsford, but a fourth son, Henry, did not apparently take any interest in the trade. There were also four daughters, viz., Mrs. Pilkington (mother of Colonel W. V. Pilkington and Colonel Richard Pilkington), Mrs. Squires, of Liverpool, Mrs. Grimke (mother of Mr. Theodore Grimke), of Newton, the present manager of the collieries), and an unmarried daughter. [The above account appeared in the paper on the death of Mr. Joseph Evans in 1889.] Mr. Richard Evans is buried in the vault between the entrance doors of the Old Chapel and to his memory is erected the beautiful red granite obelisk, upon the sides of which appear these inscriptions:-

Erected by his Workmen As a Memorial Of their appreciation of him As a kind Friend and Christian Master.

Hold Thou Thy cross before my closing eyes, Shine through the gloom and point me to the skies. Heavens morning breaks and earths vain shadows flee; In life, in death, 0 Lord, abide with me.

In affectionate remembrance of RICHARD EVANS, Esquire, of Haydock. Born 21st July, 1778, Died 13th August, 1864.

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding.In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths.

JOSIAH EVANS, Esq., son of the above Richard Evans, Esq., died on the 11th June, 1873, aged 52. When, on the death of his partner, Mr. Turner, Mr. Richard Evans became sole proprietor of the coal mining and allied businesses, he took into partnership his two sons, Messrs. Joseph and Josiah Evans, and they went largely into the colliery business by purchasing a number of locomotive engines, opening fresh pits, and otherwise extending the mining operations at Haydock. On the death of the father, the two brothers became proprietors, and not only effected large improvements in the works, but did a great deal for the moral improvement of the neighbourhood, and were most liberal patrons of and contributors to the erection of places of worship and schools in the vicinity. As an employer Mr. Josiah Evans was esteemed and beloved by his workmen, was thoroughly amiable in every relation of life, a man of clear views and strict conscientiousness in the discharge of his public and official duties, including those of a magistrate of the county, and his loss was an overwhelming bereavement not only to his family and brother, but to a wide circle of friends. He left a widow (the daughter of Mr. Hadfield, M.P. for Sheffield) and a family of five children. His body is interred in the vault beneath the obelisk erected to the memory of his father, on the eastern slope of which is a grey granite slab bearing this inscription:

Here rest until the morning of the resurrection all that is mortal of JOSIAH EVANS, of The Heyes, Haydock, who died 11th June, 1873, aged 52 years.

The funeral procession numbered some Boo workpeople and friends, and the service was conducted by the pastor, the Rev. James Allatt. A few days afterwards, on the holding of the Newton Petty Sessions, of which the deceased gentleman was a magistrate, the chairman, Colonel George McCorquodale, thus referred to his former colleague : ” Personally I feel that I have lost a friend in Mr. Evans. He was a man to whom I could go without hesitation, as I have often done, to consult him on any matter of importance. I remember distinctly on every occasion when sitting with him in this court, and at the police office in taking minor cases, his aim was to discharge his duty, and he was most moderate in the infliction of a penalty upon any man for a fault committed. It may be fitting for me to mention that on one occasion when Mr. Evans was at the Quarter Sessions at Kirkdale, for the purpose of speaking to the character of some man who was engaged in a case there, and when he was giving evidence concerning a deceased man who had been in his employ, the barrister who was cross-questioning him rather exceeded the limits of propriety, and was very rough in his questions. When Mr. Evans had to mention that this man had died, the barrister said, He is dead?is he? How do you know he is dead? and Mr Evans replied, He died in my arms. There was a sensation in court, the barrister sat down, and all there, I believe, sympathised with Mr. Evans. From this those who hear me may judge that Mr. Evans, although actively employed in business and having very little spare time, was ready on all occasions when a work of charity or love had to be discharged.”

JOSEPH EVANS, Esq. – The death of Mr. Joseph Evans, J.P. for the County Palatine and Caernarvonshire, and deputy lieutenant for Lancashire, removes a prominent figure from the circle of colliery proprietors in this country, and severs a remarkable connection with the mining industry of South-West Lancashire. On the death of his brother in 1573, the sole proprietorship fell upon Mr. Joseph, and the vast concern was alone owned by him. It may be stated that from the first inception of the firm, rapid progress was made. Pewfall Colliery, Ashton, was taken, and the Bushy Park and Little Delph mines were sunk ; the manorial rights of Parr were arranged for, and Havannah Colliery was opened in 1863, three shafts having been sunk, a work of great difficulty owing to a bed of quicksand thirty yards deep being encountered ; and in 1880 the Golborne pits were acquired from Alderman Johnson, the mayor of St. Helens in that year. About 4,000 persons are now (1889) in the employ of the firm, the total output being 1,500,000 tons of coal per annum. A vast area of ground is covered, and the minerals are so enormous that when the new St. Helens and South Lancashire Railway Bill was before Parliament it was stated that the firm of Richard Evans and Co. had sufficient tonnage to work the line themselves at a profit. The deceased gentleman had been in litigation to defend his rights to the minerals in Parr, and judgment was accorded in his favour. The salt mines at Winsford, worked by his brother, cause to him about twelve years ago, but he sold them to the Salt Syndicate last year. Being a man of great wealth, he kept up several establishments, although he was of an unostentatious and retiring disposition. Hurst House was purchased from the Willis family and enlarged. This was his favourite residence, although he also kept Haydock Grange, near the collieries. Maenan House, his Welsh seat, near Llanrwst, was sometimes visited, Mr. Evans having great interests in Wales. A large portion of the Deganwy estate and Great Grilles Head belonged to him, and he took a prominent part in the construction of the drive round it. He had also an estate in Algiers. Mr. Evans, who was in his seventy-first year, was never married, his sister, Miss Ruth Evans, having the management of Hurst House. He was a Gladstonian Liberal. Being a Congregationalist, he was a liberal donor to the Newton, Prescot, and Huyton churches of that denomination, and also took great interest in the education of the children of his work-people and others.

The Newton Congregational Church is indebted to Mr. Evans for several thousands of pounds, and the new church which is now being erected at Huyton has received a donation of L500. Some years ago Mr. Evans had an attack of paralysis, from which he did not wholly recover, and about eighteen months ago he underwent an operation for cataract in the eyes, which, however, was only partially successful. He passed peacefully away at seven oclock on Friday night, the 31st May, 1889, and was buried in Huyton Cemetery, the service being read by the Rev. James Allatt, the Rev. A.W. Carter (Huyton) and the Rev. G. Lord (Stanley) taking part – Abridged from the Liverpool Post of June 3rd and 5th, 1889.

MR. JOSIAH HADFIELD EVANS was the son of Josiah and Lydia Evans, and was accidentally drowned off the coast of Norway on the 15th July, I88I, in his 22nd year. The following is an account of the sad occurrence : On Friday, July 15th, Mr. Evans, his sister, and his friend, together with several other tourists, hired a small boat, and in it sailed through the romantic scenery?among the picturesque islands, fiords, and headlands for which the Norwegian coast is famous. The pleasure party had favourable weather until near a small village called Veblungsnaes, where the accident occurred, which, in the case of Mr. Evans, terminated so fatally. Veblungsnaes is situated in a small bay or inlet, shut in on either side by overhanging rocks. The boating party had already conic forty-three miles when they entered this bay. They steered near tine shore, from which they were not in fact more than twenty yards distant, when a sudden change took place in the weather, which had hitherto been fine and calm. A squall burst with sudden and terrible violence over the boat and its occupants, who, blinded by the spray which blew over them in clouds, and unable to hear each others voices owing to the roar of the elements, lost all control over the frail craft in which they were embarked. The boat capsized, and its occupants were thrown into the water. Their perilous position, however, had been observed from the shore, and soon, despite the great danger incurred, a boat shot out to their rescue. Mr. Evans was a good swimmer, and at first struck out for the shore. The water, however, was intensely cold, and his limbs became numb and failed him. An oar was thrown out to him from the rescuing boat, but he failed to grasp it, and sank. Two others of the party there were ten in all, including the boatmen sank also, and were drowned. One of those that thus perished was a Norwegian boat man; the other was a young English lady. Seven were rescued, among them being Miss Kate Evans, who kept herself from drowning by clinging to the keel of the upturned boat. Mr. Evans body remained thirty hours in the water before it could be brought to shore. It was then brought back to England. – Warrington Guardian.

The funeral took place, at the Chapel, on the 27th July, the body being followed by a procession of over 400 employees, to whom their young masters death was the cause of unaffected sorrow and regret. He is buried alongside his parents in the vault beneath the obelisk, on the eastern slope of which, on a grey granite slab, may be found this inscription:

JOSIAH HADFIELD EVANS, Son of JOSIAH AND LYDIA EVANS, Who died 15th July, 1881, aged 22 years.

The young gentleman had been married only about twelve months.

Miss RUTH EVANS, the daughter of Mr. Richard and Mrs. Ann Evans, came into this district with her parents in the early thirties, and has proved herself a great benefactress to the cause of Congregationalism. About thirty years ago she laid the foundation-stone of the present Congregational Church in Ashton, the donor of which was her brother, Mr. Josiah Evans. She was also present at the church on the occasion of the formal presentation of the memorial clock in 1887, having been chosen to set the clock in motion. She was the generous giver of the Congregational Church and schools to Haydock, of a day-school to Rhyl, of an educational institution to Prescot, and also of a building in Rhyl well known as “The Ministers Rest.” “She has, in fact,” in the words of a gentleman who had been intimately acquainted with her for years, spent the greater part of her fortune in educational work.” During the summer months, when ministers left their Rocks for a short relaxation, she delighted to throw her house open to them, and extended to all comers the warmest welcome and hospitality. In later months, however, she had become very weak, and a little more than three weeks back she left her residence at Bod Arthur, Rhyl, for Glandyfrdwy, near Corwen, to try to recruit herself, intending to return in October. But her condition became gradually worse, and some two or three weeks ago attained quite a critical point. From then she rapidly sank, and expired peacefully on Monday morning, August 10th, 1896. The remains were interred at the Congregational Church, Newton-le-Willows, on the following Friday, amid many manifestations of respect. The officiating ministers were the Rev, James Allatt and the Rev. G. Lord (Liverpool), there being also present many ministers from the surrounding districts. In the church the Rev. James Allatt made touching allusion to the deceased ladys generosity and to her general characteristics, and said she held her wealth as a sacred trust to be dispensed in charity. There was a large assembly of sympathisers from far and near in the church and at the graveside, and numerous and beautiful wreaths were sent. The carriers were six of the oldest employees of the firm. – Chiefly quoted from the Warrington Guardian.

Miss Evans was interred in the vault between the entrance doors of the Old Chapel, in which are the mortal remains of her father and mother, her sister-in-taw Emily and her nephew Henry, the wife and son of her brother Josiah.

MRS. LYDIA EVANS, the widow of the late Mr. Josiah Evans of “The Heyes,” Haydock, died on Wednesday, September 28th, t9at, after a prolonged illness, at the advanced age of 83. The deceased lady was the daughter of the late Mr. George Hadfield, Liberal M.P. for Sheffield, her mother being a well-known member of the Pope family, of which the late Mr. Samuel Pope, Q.C., was a prominent representative. In 1857 she married the late Mr. Josiah Evans, J.P., who was then principal of the firm of Messrs. R. Evans and Co.

Mrs. Evans was best known as one of the most generous and kind-hearted friends of all efforts in a Christian and philanthropic direction. As a long-time member and warm supporter of the Congregational Church in this district, her loss will be severely felt, because her gifts in that direction have approached princely generosity. Other churches in the district have also received very substantial help. She had a warm corner in her heart for the Manchester City Mission work in Earlestown and Haydock, and a few years ago erected a commodious building at Newton Common to assist Mr. Dring in carrying on his work in the township. Other religious societies in the town received support from Mrs. Evans, who showed a practical interest in the P.S.A. movement and in the establishment of the Young Mens Christian Association.

The late Mr. Josiah Evans died on June 11th, 1873, and his son, Mr. Hadfield Evans, lost his life off the coast of Norway on July 15th, 1881. Mrs. Edmondson, of Derwent Bank, Keswick, is the only surviving daughter. Mrs. Evans was connected by marriage with Colonels Richard and W. W. Pilkington, nephews of the late Mr. Josiah Evans.?Earlestown Guardian. Mrs. Evans was buried with her husband and son, at the Congregational Church, in the vault under the obelisk, on October 1tst.the service being conducted by the Rev. James Allatt, from whose appreciative and sympathetic address we take the following sentences: “The passing of our dear friend is a very severe trial to the members of this church and congregation, but to speak now of a merely personal loss?severe though it be?would strike a false note, harsh and dissonant. It is on victory and on thanksgiving and on high resolve and purpose that we would rather meditate and dwell. The name of Mrs. Evans stands first on the roll of church membership, and for about fifty years she has attended the Sunday and week-day services as one who loved the hour of Christian worship, and with a punctuality which served to mark the time for dwellers on the road. . . Our friend was one who took pains with everything?small and great alike. She was possessed of ample means and was a generous though discriminating giver, a philanthropist in every sense of the word. . . I would instance her untiring devotion to the work of the Haydock Cottage Hospital, an institution which mainly owes its existence to her, in conjunction with Mrs. Hayward, the widow of the late Dr. Hayward, of Haydock. Mention must also be made of her various mothers meetings, a true womans service among women, and her personal interest in the work of the town missionaries and district visitors, and the nurses who were more or less supported by her. . . Permit me to add a word concerning what to me has always appeared to be the rare courage of Mrs. Evans. For upwards of thirty-one years of widowhood she remained in Haydock. It was there, in the providence of God, that the door of ministry was set open before her, and she entered into the service. In the lonely and often dark and troubled years that followed she did not seek, as many do, a more genial climate and a sunnier abode. There were times when it must have been extremely hard to stay on amid the scenes of desolating sorrows, but she remained at the post she had accepted in happier days until the Great Captain Himself gave the word of command and called her away to a higher service within the veil.”

MR. THOMAS THOMPSON, who died suddenly on August 1st, 1907, in his 6oth year, at his residence, Bothwell Bank, Crow-lane West, began work at the Vulcan Foundry as an office-boy when thirteen years of age, and by steady application successively rose to the positions of head of the general office, of estimates clerk on the death of Mr. Smith Mangnall, and of chief accountant on the retirement of Mr. Frank J. Holmes. He was a devoted member of the church, for many years belonged to the choir when Mr. John Dick was the choirmaster, and conducted a singing class in connection with the church, teaching the members to sing by the tonic sol-fa notation. lie also, as we have seen, carried on the penny bank in connection with the Sunday-school. The Rev. James Allatt speaks very highly of his untiring energy as a member of the church, and the Rev. James Carson, on the Sunday after Mr. Thompsons death, alluded to the sudden departure of one so well known and respected. He pointed to the bright example afforded by Mr. Thompsons faithful discharge of duty at the Vulcan Foundry, and said that in any business matter referring to Wargrave Church and Schools?in which latter he had received the first part of his education?Mr. Thompson was always helpful and obliging, and he had been informed that, in that other congregation in which he worshipped, he practised such liberality as ought to be found amongst the members of all others in the township, including their own. He was buried in the Congregational Churchyard with every mark of respect and esteem.

MRS. ALLATT, the wife of the pastor of the church, died on August 3rd, 1897. “The reverend gentleman, with his esteemed wife, had gone on their usual holiday to Rhyl, North Wales, when the sad event took place. Mrs. Allatt had been in indifferent health for some time, but the news of her death came as a surprise to many of her friends in Newton, where she and her husband are universally respected. The interment took place on Friday afternoon, August 6th, at the Congregational Churchyard, amid every manifestation of deep sorrow.” Such was the newspaper announcement at the time, but for proof of the high estimation in which the deceased lady was held by those best able to note and appreciate her many acts of kindness and of love, we need only draw attention to the beautiful tablet erected by them to her memory and the loving words inscribed thereon On her lips was the law of kindness, She was calm, gentle, firm, and wise, And a succourer of many. She rests among many of those to whom she ministered, the place being marked by a granite stone in the form of a scroll.

Organ and Organists.

The organ was erected, in 1884, at a cost of ?710, and on June 8th of that year was opened for use in Divine service by Mr. F. W. Blacow, the organist of St. Clements Church, Broughton, Manchester. It was made by Messrs. Thorold and Smith (formerly Jardine and Co.), Manchester, and consists of three manuals and independent pedal organ with the under-mentioned stops, etc. :

Photo of the Organ

GREAT ORGAN—C C to G—66 Notes.
1 Open Diapason 8 feet tone 56
2 Open Diapason 8 feet tone 56
3 Clarabella 8 feet tone 56
4 Principal 4 feet tone 56
5 Harmonic Flute 4 feet tone 56
6 Twelfth 4 feet tone 56
7 Fifteenth 2 feet tone 56
8 Trumpet 8 feet tone 56


CHOIR ORGAN—C C to G—56 Notes
9 Dulciana 8 feet tone 56
10 Viola di Gamba 8 feet tone 56
11 Gedact 8 feet tone 56
12 Clear Flute 4 feet tone 56
13 Clarionet 8 feet tone 56
14 Vox Humana
(Enclosed in a special lead-lined swell-box.)
8 feet tone 56
15 Tremulant 2 feet tone 56


SWELL ORGAN—C C to G—56 Notes.
Lieblich Bourdon
16 feet
tone 56
Giegen Principal
8 feet
tone 56
8 feet
tone 56
Voix Celestes
4 feet
tone 56
Lieblich Gedact
tone 56


4 feet
tone 56
2 feet
tone 56
Mixture, Two Ranks
tone 112
8 feet
tone 56
8 feet
tone 56


PEDAL ORGAN—C C C to F—30 Notes.
Open Diapason
6 feet
tone 30
16 feet
tone 30
Flute Bass
8 feet
tone 30
Swell to Great
tone 56

Swell Super Octave

4 feet
tone 56
Swell to Choir
2 feet
tone 56
Swell to Pedals
tone 112
Choir to Pedals
8 feet
tone 56
Great to Pedals
8 feet
tone 56

There are four double-action composition pedals acting on the stops of the great organ, and four to the swell ; also pedal to act on great to pedal coupler. The balance-pedal is applied to the swell shutters, and the whole of the metal pipes are of spotted metal of superior quality. The tuning is “equal temperament.” The pedal-board is slightly concave, with radiating sharps.

The first organist was Mr. Alfred Caldwell, the subsequent organists being Messrs. Owen Edwards, Edward Corlett, Walter Thompson, Albert Knight, and D. R. Owen. The present organist is Mr. F. Williams.

Early in 1897 the schoolroom was closed owing to the discovery of dry-rot throughout the building. An expert was consulted, who at once condemned the building as unsafe for further use. To such an extent had the dry-rot affected the premises, that he strongly advocated the demolition of the old building and the erection of a new one in its stead. The committee, who had the work in hand, however, were much loathed to part with the old building, and a compromise was affected by which the outside walls only were preserved, the whole of the roof and flooring having to be renewed. The restoration was carried out by Mr. J. H. Wright, of Leigh, at a cost of ?1,200.

On Saturday evening, March 16th, 1907, during a violent storm, the lightning struck the steeple of the church, carrying away the ironwork and some 18 feet of stonework off the top. The repairing of the damage cost no less a sum than ?120.


1806.-The Rev. William Alexander, the first recorded Congregationalist minister to preach the Gospel in Newton-in-Makerfield, was the second son of John Alexander and Elizabeth Murray, his wife, was born in Chapel rosan, in the parish of Stoneykirk, Wigtonshire, Scotland, on the 21st of February, 1763, and was one of a family of three sons and four daughters. His parents appear to have been religious persons. The father, says the son, “was a faithful man, who feared God above runty, and is now in glory. He was a strict observer of the Sabbath and a reprover of those who were not.” His mother, who had a great affection for her son William, often advised and admonished him with maternal tenderness, especially it: those things which belonged to his peace. When he was only six years old his father died leaving his widow with the care of seven children, all of there young. The minister of the parish kirk in which the family worshipped had an only son, and, being desirous that he should have a suitable companion with whom he might be educated, proposed to Williams mother to receive her son into the mange. This proposal was accepted, and William lived with the minister for nine years. At the age of fifteen he was bound apprentice to an uncle who was a carpenter, but, at the end of three years business beginning to fail, he was forced to seek work elsewhere, going to Paisley and Glasgow, and then to Lancaster, where he stayed ninny years and where he married. During this interval he experienced much spiritual conflict and wretched-ness, but, on hearing a sermon by the Rev. Robert Houseman, a young curate at St. Johns. Lancaster, he called on him, and the curate explained the Gospel method of salvation through faith in Christ, and recommended repentance and prayer. Shortly afterwards he joined the Independent Church in High-street. Lancaster. Thence-forward we find hint preaching in the villages around the town. After working six days at the carpenters bench, his “Sabbath days journey” was at least thirty-two miles, every step of which he walked, often in the midst of wind and rain, and in the course of which he preached at never fewer than three, and frequently at four, different places. In the year 1802 he received a unanimous invitation from the recently-formed church at Prescot to become their pastor, which he accepted, and removed thither with his wife and family on the 23rd of May of that year. From Prescot as we have seen, he visited Newton and preached from the cross, from which he was pulled down by the constable. He removed from Prescot to Leigh in January, 1811, whence he paid many visits to Newton during the fourteen years he dwelt there. He also preached occasionally at Lowton, West Houghton, Haddock, Golborne, and Edge-green, at the latter place working a great improvement, by which the whole neighbourhood was changed and blessed. “The profane swearing, the beastly intemperance, and the savage prize-fights of the place were diminished almost to extinction. The champion prize-fighter himself – the hero of the place – received the kingdom of heaven as a little child; and, instead of oaths and curses, songs of joy and praise were heard ascending to the skies from the laborious workmen underground” From Leigh the Rev. W. Alexander removed to Churchtown, where he remained until 1850. Thence he went to Southport, where, in the chapel, on the 31st August, 1851, in his eighty-ninth year, he preached his last sermon. He died on the 23rd of January, IS55, at the patriarchal age of 92 years. His funeral was attended by a large and sympathising congregation, his funeral sermon being preached by the Rev. Dr. Raffles, of Liverpool. – Abridged from “Memoirs of the Rev. William Alexander,” by his son.

1842.-The Rev. Robert Massie, the first residential minister, was solemnly recognized as pastor of the Congregational Chapel on the 14th December, 1842, but had commenced his labours at Newton on the 2nd October previously. He was born in Glasgow, and educated for the ministry in the University there. His brother was the Rev. Dr. Massie, of Chapel-street, Salford, of Anti-Corn Law League fame. After completing his college course, he spent about twelve months as a city missionary in Montrose, being afterwards associated for a few months in work with the late Dr. Lindsay Alexander, of Edinburgh. His first charge was at Peterhead, where he was ordained 3rd January, 1539, whence he removed to Newton. In addition to preaching in the chapel at Newton, the held services also at the Vulcan Foundry, where he had an attendance of 100, and at the Chemical Works, where he had 35. In I849 Mr. Massie accepted another charge at Atherstone, in Warwickshire, where he continued to labour until Saturday, April 25th, 1863, when he passed away in the fifty-eighth year of his age. Of Mr. Massies two sons, one is now Professor John Massie, M.A., Mansfield College, Oxford, and the other is Mr. Robert Massie, of the Ceylon Civil Service. – Rev. B. Nightingale?s “Lancashire Nonconformity,” 1892.

Whilst at Newton the Rev. R. Massies wife died, aged 42 years, and her body is interred in the northern portion of the graveyard.

1852.-The Rev. Theophilus Davies, the second pastor of the Congregationalist body at Newton, was the third son of the Rev. Emmanuel Davies, of Hanover, near Abergavenny, where he was born on the 17th October, 1799. In 1816, along with his elder brother, Josiah Davies, he was admitted a student into the Western Academy, then at Axminster. In 1821 he settled at Hazel Grove, near Stockport, and soon after went to Stourbridge, Worcestershire, where he was ordained on the 8th September, 1826. His next charge was Ludlow, whence in 1852 he moved to Newton. He remained until 1857, when he resigned for Hungerford, Berkshire, where he continued to labour until 1865, when increasing age and infirmity led him to withdraw from the ministry. He (lied on the 7th November, 1879, at Hereford, in his 81st year. It is interesting to know that his great-great-grandfather was the Rev. Daniel Phillips, of Pwllheli, where he settled in 1684, and who died in 1722. Mr. W. H. Davies, son of the Rev. Theophilus Davies, is a well-known Manchester merchant. – Rev. B. Nightingales “Lancashire Nonconformity,” 1892.

1857.-The Rev. William Spencer Ball was born in London on the 16th October, 1815, and received his ministerial training at the Cotton End Academy. In 1845 the was ordained at Cadnan, in Hampshire, which was his first charge, removing after about two years to Havant in the same county. His next charge was Stainland, in Yorkshire, whence he carne to Newton, which was “the scene of his death” (Rev. B Nightingales “Lancashire Nonconformity,” 1892). He died on the 6th February, 1861, aged 46 years, and his grave is in the northern portion of the graveyard. He was connected with the Newton Mechanics Institution as conductor of the mutual improvement class, and was described as “a most laborious minister and an active member of the institution.” During his illness he was regularly visited by the Rev. Peter Legh, the Vicar of St. Peters, who had previously formed a friendship with him, and highly esteemed him for his saintly character.

1863.-The Rev. James Allatt, whose father was born in the chapel-house at Forton, near Garstang, is the great-grandson of the Rev. Abraham Allatt, for several years the minister of that place. He came to Newton from the Lancashire College, as Mr. Balls successor, in 1863. He has therefore seen nearly thirty years of service here, and?the venerable Dr. Thomas, of Liverpool, excepted, who is the pastor of a Welsh congregation?no one in the Liverpool District can show a longer pastorate than Mr. Allatt. The Rev. George Lord, of Stanley, near Liverpool, and the Rev. John Chater, of Southport, began their present ministry in the same year as Mr. Allatt, and his neighbour, the Rev. R. J. Ward, of St. Helens, a year later. Occupying an almost unique position amongst the Congregational ministers of the Liverpool District, he certainly does occupy such a position amongst those who have laboured at Newton. His ministry extends considerably over half of the period that the church has been in existence, and is consequently far and away the longest the church has known. In these days of short pastorates it is worth pointing out, when the opportunity occurs, that it is possible for a man to live long and happily with his people, and do amongst them a useful work. – Rev. B. Nightingales “Lancashire Nonconformity” This book was published in 1892. In March, 1903, Mr. Allatt completed forty years as pastor of the church, and the occasion was made the opportunity for the members of the church and congregation to present him with tokens of their love and regard in the form of a number of theological books and a beautifully-illuminated address, printed on vellum, in album shape, and bound in full morocco, the front page having a photograph of Mr. Allatt, and the end page a water-colour sketch of the church, the outside of the album bearing Mr. Allatts initials. The address was as follows:-

“To the Rev. James Allatt, Minister of the Congregational Church, Newton-le-Willows. Rev. and clear Sir,?The members of the Church and Congregation at Newton-le-Willows desire gratefully to acknowledge that, during the past forty years you have laboured among them in the ministry of the Gospel, your public teaching has been signally blessed to the comfort and edification of your people, that your wise counsel and kindly encouragement have directed and inspired them, that you have sympathised and co-operated with all movements which have had for their object the glory of God and the welfare of men. They thankfully recognize the service you have at all times so willingly rendered to the sick and sorrowing members of your flock. They bear testimony to your unwearied labours in the training and education of the young, and your unfailing interest in their temporal and spiritual well-being. They recall with satisfaction the invaluable assistance rendered by you in the erection of the handsome and commodious building in which they now worship. They put on record their gratitude to Almighty God for your long and faithful ministry, for the singleness of aim and earnestness of _ purpose ever manifested by you, by your loyalty to Christ, and your whole-hearted devotion to the service of His church. They pray that He in whose hands are the issues of life may ever have you and your family in His most holy keeping, and abundantly strengthen you for the work He has vet in store for you.? – (Signed), Moses Battersby, Samuel Birks, Richard Jones, John Owen, Robert Lomas, Henry Law.

Two years later (April, 1905) Mr. Allatt resigned the pastorate, after a ministry here of forty-two years and still resides at the manse adjoining the old chapel yard.


The Rev. John Davidson

1905.-The Rev. John Davidson, having accepted the invitation to the pastorate of the church on the retirement of the Rev. James Allatt, commenced his ministry here on October 1st, 1905. He was horn at Calderhank, Airdrie, Scotland, and spent his early life in that colliery district. His interest in mission work among his fellows, from the age of sixteen, marked him out for the ministry, and, after some time missioning in Glasgow, he proceeded to the Congregational Institute, Nottingham, where he remained four years. From college he was recommended as assistant pastor to the Centenary Church, Lancaster, in which he was ordained on November 26th, 1902. Whilst here it was said of him that “in the work of visiting the sick members he has done splendid service, going at all times of the night to homes of poor people whenever called upon, and to some he has been a source of comfort in the dark hours when the bread-winner has been taken away; ” and ” he was noted as a hard and conscientious worker, especially among young people and members of the P.S.A., and made many friends, who assembled at the various services, on the occasion of his preaching his farewell sermons, to wish him God-speed.” These characteristics have, we are sure, been fully evident since his coming amongst us.

Gods Acre.
My thoughts are with the Dead; with them
I live in long-past years,
Their virtues love, their faults condemn,
Partake their hopes and fears.
And from their lessons seek, and find
Instruction with an humble mind. – Southey.
We had not visited this little graveyard since the burial of the late Mr. John Adams in 1906, and were surprised, in reading the inscriptions on the monuments, to find how many of those we had known in boyhood and early manhood were sleeping here. We began our inspection with the beautiful monument erected to the memory of Mr. Richard Evans by his grateful workpeople, particulars of which have already been given, and passed on to the vault, at the north of the chapel, enclosed by semicircular railings. On the stone may be found these inscriptions to departed members of the Evans family;

Beneath these stones lie the mortal remains of:-

RICHARD EVANS, of Haydock. Who died Aug. 13th, 1S64, aged 86.

ANN, wife of RICHARD EVANS, Who died Dec. l0th, 1847, aged 62.

EMILY, wife of JOSIAH EVANS, Who died Dec. 13th, 1854, aged 32.

HENRY, son of JOSIAH and EMILY EVANS, Who died Aug. l0th, 1850, aged l0 months.

RUTH EVANS, daughter of RICHARD EVANS, Who died August l0th, 1896, aged 77 years.

In this northern portion we noted the grave of the worthy minister who preceded the Rev. James Allatt in the pastorate, the work on the stone erected to his memory reflecting more credit upon the masons handicraft than upon his orthography.

In Memory of The Late Rev. WILLIAM SPENCER BALL, late Minister of this place, Who departed this life February 6th, 1861, aged 46 years.

On the western side: After enduring much Sorrow and Affliction He hath now entered into his rest.

And here, tender an upright stone with white marble slab, lie the remains of “May Massie, wife of the Rev. R. Massie, who died April 12th, 1848, aged 42 years.”

On a recumbent stone this inscription appears to the memory of one who not only tried medically to soothe the pain of men and womens bodies but also, as leader of the old chapel choir, musically to soothe the anxiety of their minds :

HORATIO MATHER, Surgeon, of Earlestown, Who died April l0th, 1864, aged 63 years, and also of his wife MARGARET MATHER.

Also in this portion is the grave, under a raised horizontal stone, of William Stevenson, a native of Alloa, Scotland, the first deacon of the church and the first superintendent of the Sunday-school. In this grave also reposes all that is mortal of Henry Wallington, who died March 27th, 1873, aged 77 years, and of Ann Wallington, who died October 31st, 1873, aged 82 years. Here too is a granite monument with shrouded urn, “In loving memory of Charles Ashton, who fell asleep in Jesus 7th June, 1886, aged 27 years.”

And on the western side these words appear, “Erected by the officers and workmen of the London and North Western Wagon Department, Earlestown, as a tribute of their esteem and respect.”

And near this, on a grey granite upright slab, is the following inscription :

JOHN HARVIE, of Beech Bank, Newton-le-Willows. Born in Glasgow, Oct. 3rd, 1829. Died at Colwyn Bay, April 2nd, 1880. “Faithful unto death.”

John Harvie was chief agent of Messrs. Evans collieries at Haydock, with which firm he had been connected about sixteen years, and was much esteemed by the numerous employees there. He took an active part in local public affairs, having been for several years one of the Newton Improvement Commissioners. As previously stated, he was superintendent of the Sunday-school for many years, and on his resignation was presented with a handsome illuminated address, by the teachers and scholars, as a mark of the esteem in which he was held.

In the western part of the graveyard is an upright stone slab erected to the memory of “Janet Fenton, the beloved wife of Thomas Fenton, who died July 6th, 1876, aged 100 years.”We did not know this centenarian lady, but we knew a person who reposes in the same grave, viz., John McClaren, who died on August 23rd, 1891, aged 73 years. John was farm-bailiff at the Reformatory School in the late Mr. Attys day, and was a regular attendee at the chapel. Our memory recalls his sturdy figure and his ruddy countenance, and we fancy we can hear his cheerful salutation in passing on his way to the kirk.

Near this is the grave of James Thomas Barr, a fellow-apprentice with us at the Printing Works – an estimable young man and an ardent worker for the Wesleyan body at Earlestown. In the same grave also lie the bodies of his worthy father and mother, aged respectively 70 and 75 years.

Likewise in this portion may be seen the resting-place of the Rev. John Thomas Camm, the late Pastor of the Congregational Church, Golborne, whom we knew when he resided in Park-road, Newton. He died on the 5th September, 1899, aged 65, and his wife, Eliza, aged 67, lies with him.?Under an upright stone lies one of the first members of the church in the person of Jane Ross, who died October 9th, 1884, aged 70, and in the same grave repose the ashes of members of the Boulton family of Crow-lane. Alongside are interred some of the Notman family, of whom we knew Charles, who died on April 18th, 1879, aged 37. In the days of Penny Concerts held in the Newton Assembly-room, Charles was in great demand as a humorous singer. He was a compositor by trade.?Adjoining is the grave of the Kidd family, of Golborne, upon the stone of which are these touching lines to an infant: ?Her marble brow was pure as though some angel wing had passed and swept all tints of earthliness away. She faded slowly, softly, from the earth, and died, as some sweet blossom dies, away, shedding a heavenly incense to the last.?

And here is the grave of a printer we knew intimately – Robert Brown, who died February 26th, 1906, aged 54, and that of his elder brother, John, a compositor, who died on the 27th of September, 1876, aged 27 years, an intimate of our brother-in-law, Edmund Forman, now of York, of William Ellann, late of Winwick, and of our neighbour, John McDougall.

In this western portion many of Messrs. McCorquodales employees rest from their labours:-

George Stead Wood, the foreman ruler, and his son of the same name, a compositor, lie here, the former dying in his 81st and the latter in his 51st year. William Aitken and his son-in-law, Alexander Galloway, both foremen of the machine department, share the same grave, the first dying aged 82 and the second aged 55 years. John Adams, the head clerk, who died March 9th, 1906, aged 69, occupies a contiguous grave with his wife Catherine Adams, who died in 1884 aged 41.

John Christie, the talented reader of the firm, aged 75, his wife Mary, aged 68, and their son James, aged 31 years, here sleep their last sleep.

Gilbert Lennox, the father, and Gilbert Lennox, the son, the former dying aged 82, and the latter aged 33 years, rest in the same grave as the wife and mother, who died aged 69 years.

Harriet Wood, the beloved wife of Frederick Tehhutt, here found an early tomb, dying on her 22nd birthday.

Members of the Burdis family, Sarah Burdis, aged 65, her sister Susan Sharp, aged 79, and her grand-son Robert Bell Burdis, aged 19 months, are here wrapped in dreamless sleep.

And members of the Mannington family rest near a little monument whose inscriptions have been almost obliterated by Times rude hand. Some of these we knew in boyhood days at the Mansion House and at school.

Here too is the grave of our friends father his mother and Sister, Robert Cunningham Campbell, who died March 16th, 1864, aged 60; Mary Campbell, who died January 9th, 1875, aged 76: Mary Anne Campbell, who died April 28th, 1878, aged 44 years.

And the relatives of Mr. F. J. Holmes, a long-time and an active worker in church and school, repose under the shade of the stone recording their names and ages

George Browne, died June 6th, 1864, aged 41; Isabella Browne, died 25th August, 1883, aged 65; Captain John Holmes, died May 11th, 1863, aged 72; and Elizabeth Holmes, died October 29th, 1871, aged 63 years.

There are others lying here unknown to us, who doubtless did well their duty in that state of life unto which it had pleased God to call them, and are peacefully resting under the shadow of the chapel they afore time loved so well to attend.

In the southern part of the yard we note the recently-raised white marble cross to the memory of one we highly respected and admired for his integrity and constancy in church duties:

SAMUEL BIRKS, Died February 25th, 1913, aged 79 years. “Blessed are the pure in heart.” alongside is the grave, with a red granite upright slab, of an old Newton family, viz., Henry Hibbert, who died in 1861, aged 50 ; Mary Ann Hibbert, his wife, who died in 1888, aged 73 ; Elizabeth Hibbert, their daughter, who died in 1877, aged 32 ; and an infant son of four years.

Behind is the grave of an octogenarian couple who in early days were members of the chapel choir – William Austin, who died on February 8th, 1906, aged 80, and Lydia Austin, who died on September 18th, 1908, aged 84 years.

In the new churchyard is the grave of an old couple with whom, in the days that are no more, we used to spend many an instructive hour – William Drinnan, who died on the 27th September, 1884, aged 72 years, and his wife Christina Drinnan, who died on the 17th February of the same year, aged 82 years.

Not far removed is the grave of W. H. Randalls wife, who died in 1905, aged 29 years. The father of the husband, the genial and respected head of the Newton Nursery Gardens, died on Sunday, the 7th March, 1915, aged 69 years, and was buried, in the Public Cemetery, in the grave where lie the dear remains of his daughter Louisa Randell. So lately as the date of the dedication of All Saints Church it was our pleasure to accompany him to and from that ceremony, and now he is resting beneath “the clover sod that takes the sunshine and the rains.”

Thanks to the care and, in many cases, the gratuitous labour of our printer friend, Thomas Dudgeon, these two graveyards present a neat and tidy appearance in keeping with the sacred buildings there-in.

My hopes are with the Dead; anon
My place with them will be,
And I with them shall travel on
Through all Futurity;
Yet leaving here a name, I trust,
That will not perish in the dust.?Southey.

Institutions and Workers, 1915.

PASTOR.?The Rev. J. Davidson.

Mr. J. Owen (secretary), Mr. J. H. Birks (treasurer), Messrs. R. Jones, J. Slater, F. F. Ramage, T. Bailey, W. H. Randall (deacons).
Former treasurers of the church have been:-
Messrs. Robert Glover, Peter Murray, John Mannington, David Wilson, John Harvie, B. B. Glover, F. J. Holmes and John Owen.
Was founded in March, 1891, and registered in IS92 in the National C. E. Union, the number of the society being 261. The first president was the Rev. James Allatt, and Miss E. M. Allatt (the founder of the society) was the first secretary. This society was the first in the Warrington District and one of the first in the country, Crewe being No. 1. Its motto is ” For Christ and the Church.” Its object is to gather the young people into the fellowship of a weekly devotional meeting, and to enlist their services on behalf of the church with which the Society is connected.

The officers for the session 1914-15 were:
President, Rev. J. Davidson;
Vice-presidents, Messrs. R. Jones, F. F. Ramage, and W. H. Randall;
Recording secretary, Mr. J. H. Slater;
Corresponding secretary, Miss A. Bethell;
Treasurer, Mr. T. Dodd.

The Junior Society of Christian Endeavour superintendents for the session 1914-15 were Miss A. Bethell and Miss H. Owen. A recent secretary and ardent worker in the cause was Miss M. A. Hall, now and for many years a diligent Sunday-school teacher.

was formed on May 2ISt, 1903, the ladies responsible for its formation being Mesdames Law, Marsh, Swift, J. Owen, Waugh, and Miss E. M. Allatt.

The present officers are Mrs. Davidson (president),
Mrs. Swift (secretary), with a committee consisting of Mesdames T. Bailey, Waugh, J. Owen, Ramage, and G. Lennox.

Meetings are held on Thursday afternoons throughout the year, and are of a religious and social character, tea being provided on the last Thursday in each month. A good work is being done in the district by these meetings. The following is a list of the officers since the formation : Presidents, Miss Allatt, and Mesdames Law, Marsh, and Davidson ; secretaries, Mrs. J. Glover, Miss Flitton, Mrs. Jukes, Mrs. Waugh, Mrs. Swift.


The Sunday-school was founded in 1840, and in our recollection has always been noted for its excellent staff of teachers and its good attendance of scholars.

TREASURER – Mr. John Owen

SECRETARY – Mr. F. Bolton

Messrs. B. Ashcroft and M. Dodson.

BROTHERHOOD …………………….No. of Scholars. 35
Leader, Rev. J. Davidson

SENIOR CLASSES, …………………No. of Scholars. 59

Teachers Mrs. T. Bailey, Miss H. Owen, and Mr. R. King

INTERMEDIATE School ……………No. of Scholars. 98

Superintendents, Mr. W. H. Randall and Mr. C. Ball

Teachers Miss M. A. Hall Mr. T. Dodd Mrs. T. Jukes ? A. McCaughan,, Miss E. Hughes ? T. Pate E. Bailey ? J. Slater G. Latham ? J. W. Ashcroft M. E. Owen ? J. Harrison ? A. Bethell

PRIMARY School,………………………No. of Scholars. 60

Superintendent, Mrs. J. Slater

Teachers Miss A. G. Howard Miss F. Ashton Mrs. F. Bolton , G. Waugh Miss L. Percival Mir. C. Duncalf D. Bailey ? J. M. Hughes M. Ratcliffe ? Sid. Owen

Total………………………………………….No. of Scholars. 252

Former officers of the Sunday-school have been:

Messrs. W. Stevenson, D. Papps, W. Bury, J. Harvie, J. Evans, P. M. Campbell, B. B. Glover, H. Law, H. Bramah, and R. Jones;
secretaries, Messrs. John Mather and Moses Battersby (45 years).

was formed in I910 with the object of gathering together girls over ten years of age, on a week evening, for education, recreation, and amusement.

The officers for the session 1914-15 were:
President, Mrs. T. Thompson ;
vice-presidents, Mesdames W. Latham, Davidson, Slater, and Turner; treasurer, Mrs. Swift;
secretary, Mrs. Ramage;
assistant-secretary, Mrs. Jukes.

In the compilation of the foregoing we are indebted to the Rev. B. Nightingale for permission “to use what may serve your purpose in `Lancashire Nonconformity and the Memorial Volume”; to Mr. John Owen, the present secretary of the church, for more recent information willingly supplied ; and to the Rev. James Allatt for his kindness in the revision and emendation of the proof-sheets.

This text is transcribed by Steven Dowd from the 1916, Vol II, History of Newton in Makerfield by J H Lane, some of the notes in the text are from Mr Peter M Campbell, a person who Lane qouted often in the books he published.

If there are vocabulary errors or spelling mistakes in the transcription i can only apologise, because you can more than likely directly blame me for them.

This transcription, its errors and omissions are my own transcription from the original published text and are copyright steven Dowd, if you plan to use this text on your website, please inform me before use.

©2006 – Steven Dowd


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