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History of Wallasey Churches - Poulton / Seacombe

Posted By: Anonymous

History of Wallasey Churches - Poulton / Seacombe - 1st Dec 2009 1:30pm

St. Luke's Church

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Before the building of St. Luke's Church the nearest church for local parishioners was St. Hilary's but in 1882 a temporary iron building was erected in Limekiln Lane and services were conducted by the Revd. Wilfred Stanton. By 1899 the small building was not large enough to hold an ever growing congregation so they decided to build a proper church. The site of the church was donated by Mr R.C. de Grey Vyner and the architects were Mr Harry May and Mr Lindsay Grant. The foundation stone was laid on 21st October 1899 by Miss McInnes, the principal benefactor. The first portion of the church was completed and consecrated on 1st November 1900. Poulton was made a separate parish in 1906 and Revd. R.D Hughes became the first vicar. The font inside the church is the old Norman font from St. Hilary's Church.

During the Second World War the church was hit by a bomb during an air raid in 1941 which caused damage to the Steeple and roof. It was not until 1951 that all repairs were made. Today the church still stands though its future, like so many in the Borough, is uncertain due to falling in numbers of attendances as well as the cost cost of maintenance. A suggestion of joining Marlowe Road United Reform Church was made but failed due to both churches being in separate parishes.

Seacombe Primitive Methodist Church

The early history of Primitive Methodism in Wallasey is obscure. Primitive Methodists would have appeared to have reached Wallasey by Birkenhead and Liverpool

In 1837, a 17 year old convert of Poulton, William Hughes, and some of his companions began to hold prayer meeting in the neighbourhood. When these proved successful they looked for a place for regular services and built a chapel in 1838. it is more then likely that the 'chapel' was probably just a room in peoples homes as was the practice in any early worship setup. Early in the 20th Century, buildings were leased for a Primitive Methodist Chapel. The building belonged to the Salvation Army and stood in Brighton Street. The building consisted of a chapel and a school. The rent was 60 per annum. Later the premises became the offices of the Wallasey and Wirral Chronicles, and when the premises were demolished in 1957, a motor showroom was built on the site.

After World War One it was decided to open a new chapel. A site was obtained in Poulton Road, Seacombe, on the corner of Norwood Road. The stone laying ceremony was geld on 21st May, 1927, and was laid by Charles Wass Esq, J.P., who was to become Vice President of Primitive Methodist Church in 1930. The church opened for worship on 4th April, 1928, with the dedication service started by Revd. J.H Saxton of Middlesborough.

In the Second World War the Primitive Methodist Church was destroyed by a bomb during the March 1941 air-raids. The church was then demolished in 1944.

Poulton Wesleyan Church

Before Oxton Road Methodist Church was built local worshippers met in a room over a shop near the corner of Poulton Road and Oxton Road, opposite Gorsey Lane.

A site for a building was found on some waste land on the site of the present hall. The foundation stone was laid on 25th September, 1905 and originally the new building was called "Poulton Wesleyan Methodist Mission Hall" and it opened for service on 1st November, 1905.

After the First World War, the attendance had risen and it was decided to build a church as the hall was now inadequate. With accommodation for about 400 worshippers the new church opened on 3rd November, 1928 with the Superintendent Minister of the Wallasey Wesleyan Circuit, Revd. G.H Bainbridge, conducting the service. The old hall was still useful for Sunday School and other activities for the young people. Architects of the new church were R.E Shennan FRIBA of North John Street, Liverpool and was built in a modern version of Byzantine. The outside walls were faced with multi-coloured narrow bricks, set in mortar, and selected common Ravenhead Bricks, with capitals, string courses, architraves and panels of stone. The inside walls of the Church itself were faced with red pressed brick, also with stone dwellings and a shallow vault in the fibrous plaster.

New extensions were built and opened in 1961 but in the 1970s the Church found it financially difficult to keep going. Rewiring was urgently required as well as other refurbishments. Heating the church was a major issue too. It was not until 1989 that a decision was taken and the Hall was adapted for worship. The stage was adapted form a sanctuary with communion table, lectern and organ. A roller shutter closed the area off when the activities were other than divine worship. The Hall was refurbished with new chairs that could easily be stacked away and new carpets were laid.

With fallen numbers a decision was taken that the Church had to close. The final Methodist service was held on 29th November, 1994. The old church was transferred into the Oasis Day Nursery.

Oakdale Mission Church

Oakdale Mission Church, Oakdale Road, was opened in October 1881. It began when Mr Frank Johnson hired two cottages to hold up to 210 people. Initially the Church was under the auspices of the Presbyterian Church of England, the parent church being Egremont Presbyterian Church. In October 1891 the first building was opened by the Rt. Hon. Samuel Smith, MP.

About 600 people attended the Sunday School, with 28 staff and church membership increased as 150 ladies enjoyed the weekly woman's bible meeting. Mrs Frances Leftwich started a Men's Bible Class where she taught 100 men each week. Mrs Leftwich also set up evening classes at the Mission which eventually led to 41 classes also with up to 1,000 students in 33 different subjects.

Besides the spiritual ministry, physical help was given to the unemployed, orphans and neglected children and rescue work was done by young women. For 32 years the work was led by Miss Emma Ayres. In 1908 Egremont Presbyterian Church took over full responsibility after the founder had died in 1902. Work began to finance a new building and on 19th September, 1906, Alderman T. Raffles Bully, JP., opened the new Oakdale Mission.

The Mission continued on until 1943 when it was closed and subsequently sold. In 1953 the Liverpool City Missionary was placed in charge of Oakdale. Today the building still survives and is being used as the 'Oakdale Nursery' which opened in July 1998.

Seacombe Congregational Church

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The foundation stone of the red brick Congregational Church in Liscard Road was laid in 1892 and was opened for public worship in February 1906 by Mr W.H Lever (later Lord Leverhulme).

At one point the church had a Lady Missionary as their minister, Miss Platt. The last minister was the Revd. Sidney Bowen. During his ministry the organ was often played by a 14-year old boy.

Church attendances fell away and it was decided to hold services in the adjoining hall. The church building closed down and it was not after that the buildings were demolished in 1964., the congregation joining other churches in the neighbourhood. The petrol station now occupies the site. It is worthy to note, due to the colour of the brick work, the Congregational Church, the Welsh Presbyterian Church and the Seacombe URC were known as the 'Red, White and Blue Churches'.

Welsh Presbyterian Church

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The first meetings were held in a newly erected building that was situated on Chapel Street, Seacombe in 1838. As numbers increased a former Wesleyan Chapel in Victoria Road (now Borough Road) was purchased and served the congregation until the need for a still larger chapel was required so land was bought in Liscard Road and the foundation stone of 'White Chapel' was laid in 1876. It was opened two years later and could seat 450 worshippers.

The architect was Mr R.G Thomas of Menai Bridge and the stone was Penmon Granite from Anglesey which gave the church a white stone appearance. The schoolroom and caretakers house were added in 1895 and an exceptionally fine pipe organ was installed in 1916.

The founder and first elder was Mr Robert Owen, who came from Flintshire to work at a copper works that existed at that time somewhere near the Wallasey Pool. The first Minister of the church was Revd. Richard Lumley, a Cardiganshire man noted for his oddities and sharp repartee, who served from 1866 to 1884. Lumley Road is named after him.

By 1964, with dwindling membership, it was decided to unite the Church with the Rake Lane Chapel, and renamed as Wallasey Welsh Presbyterian Church. The old church was demolished in 1966 and Seacombe Library was built on the site and opened in July 1969.

Seacombe United Reform Church

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The origins of the Presbyterians in Seacombe can be traced back as far as December 1862 when they met in a disused Wesleyan Chapel in Wheatland Lane. The chapel was repaired and used until the new Mission House in Church Road, Seacombe, dedicated on 20th July, 1869. The total cost was 2,496, with the main hall being used as a schoolroom on weekdays, and as a church on Sundays. An extension, called Western Hall, opened in 1879 at a cost of 958, but when church membership began to show a rapid increase some four years later, the Mission House was proved too small. A new site was then found for the building of a new church. Standing on the corner of Brougham Road and Liscard Road stood 'Brougham House'. This 2,150 square yard site was purchased by the Seacombe Presbyterian Church for 1,550 in August, 1906. As their were insufficient funds to build the church, money raising events were held, including bazaars, concerts and sales of work. Also 134 yards of the land were sold to the Council. In 1909 a bazaar guide was produced which gave the membership as 204 and Sunday scholars 411.

On 29th July, 1911 the foundation stone was laid and the new church of Gothic design was dedicated on 25th September, 1912. The Mission House in Church Road was closed and eventually sold to Wallasey Printers. The building being later demolished to make way for a superstore. A new hall was built to the right of the church which opened on 23rd January. 1926. The church, which still stands today, survived the Second World War with minor damage.

Church of Our Lady of the Sea and St. Joseph Church

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In 1860 the Seacombe Mission was separated from the parish of Liscard. Canon Sherwood ministered to about thirty members in an upper room of the Presbytery at the corner of Chapel Street. The Revd. Theopolis Degen became the first resident priest towards the end of 1860.

The Catholic Church of Our Lady of the Sea and St. Joseph Church in Wheatland Lane was built between 1888/89 on land purchased in 1875.. The foundation-stone of the first building was laid on 5th August, 1888. The church opened on 28th July, 1889, when the Bishop of Newport, Dr Hedley and Revd Bernard Vaughan, preached the first sermons.

The Grade II listed building was designed by Edmund Kirby. Details of the design are as follows :- stone with slate roof. Single vessel nave and chancel, aisles, chapels and baptistry. 5-bay nave has lancets with splayed reveals, paired to clerestory; south aisle has paired lancets, the central pair divided by weathered buttress, and end single lancets, end buttresses; north aisle has 2 gabled transeptal bays forming confessionals with rose windows. West front has flanking gabled buttresses. Entrance has 2 segmental-headed doors with sexfoil in tympanum with foliage; flanking windows and parapet with trefoil-headed arches. Giant arch has 6 gabled lancets with weathering and rose window above. Gabled north porch with north entrance and south canted baptistry with trefoil-headed windows. Chancel has canted end with 3-light window and 2 lancets to north and south. North chapel has 2-light north window. South chapel has 2-light south window with rose window in west gable. Tall gabled buttress to north of chancel. Interior: 5-bay arcades on round piers; waggon roof. Canted timber west gallery over porch. Octagonal stone pulpit on clustered shafts has cusped arches and marble shafts. Chancel arch has flanking canopied statues. Marble panelling to chancel and marble altar, reredos with aedicule. Timber parclose screens in arches to chapels. Good stained glass to chancel.

St. Paul's Church

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The foundation-stone of the church, at the head of the ferry approach, was laid on 6th June, 1846, and the church was consecrated on 12th October. 1847. It was built from the designs of John Hay in the Early Middle Pointed style of the thirteenth century, with a spire of 120 feet in height completed in 1849. The first incumbent of St. Paul's was Revd. Edward Roberts. B.A., who served the parish until 1864. Electric lighting was introduced in 1906, as were the marble altar steps. In the 1920s the top of the spire became twisted and unsafe, but was not removed until 1975. The church has been enlarged twice and currently holds about 650 people. St Paul's School on Bridle Road became the church hall in 1933. In about 1970 the auctioneers, Wilson & Southern, operated from this building which was demolished in 1982 and the site acquired for sheltered housing.

The church still stands today in the heart of Seacombe.

Decembers update also includes more pictures of churches, also includes the story of the TSMV Royal Iris and the biography of the founder of New Brighton, James Atherton.
Posted By: MissGuided

Re: History of Wallasey Churches - Poulton / Seacombe - 1st Dec 2009 2:23pm

Thanks for that Paul. Some interesting bits and bobs there. smile
Posted By: RUDEBOX

Re: History of Wallasey Churches - Poulton / Seacombe - 1st Dec 2009 5:12pm

Thanks for this. Learnt a few things there.
Posted By: Peachy

Re: History of Wallasey Churches - Poulton / Seacombe - 1st Dec 2009 5:36pm

Our Family Church =]

Mum and dad Got married and me and my two brothers got christened here too!
Posted By: RUDEBOX

Re: History of Wallasey Churches - Poulton / Seacombe - 1st Dec 2009 5:40pm

Which church peachy?
Posted By: Peachy

Re: History of Wallasey Churches - Poulton / Seacombe - 1st Dec 2009 5:41pm

St Lukes
Posted By: RUDEBOX

Re: History of Wallasey Churches - Poulton / Seacombe - 1st Dec 2009 5:46pm

Ours is st pauls
Posted By: RUDEBOX

Re: History of Wallasey Churches - Poulton / Seacombe - 1st Dec 2009 5:46pm

Ours is st pauls
Posted By: buddy

Re: History of Wallasey Churches - Poulton / Seacombe - 1st Dec 2009 7:12pm

Thanks for the info Paul - my parents were married in St Pauls (1937)
Posted By: suicideblonde

Re: History of Wallasey Churches - Poulton / Seacombe - 3rd Feb 2011 3:03am

my dad worked for at St Pauls when it was the auction rooms, his name was Reg Mottram, also my brothers Russ, Paul and Bill. Does anyone remember them?
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