A Quick Tour of the Building
To help you find your way around, here is a very quick tour of the St Andrew's Church building. This is no substitute for a real visit though! Please feel free to come in and have a look around any time the doors are open. If you can't make it to a service, then why not join us at the 'Café in the Church' on a Friday morning or afternoon?
You can click on the numbers in the image below to see further information about each area.
1. The Nave
St Andrew's was built in 1879, but it was not until 1919 that it was fully equipped with pews. The tops of the columns are each decorated with a different foliage, and the corbels above depict the twelve apostles. Amongst the foliage round the tops of some of the columns are angelic and human faces, and small creatures including a squirrel, a bat, and various birds.
2. The Font
The font was originally in the middle of what is now the lounge at the back of church. It was installed there in 1879. It was moved to its present position in 1995 to symbolise the central importance of children in the life of the church.
3. The Chancel
The magnificent organ was installed in 1883. It was rebuilt and enlarged after World War II as a memorial to those servicemen from the parish who died in the war. It is unusual for an organ to be a war memorial! It now comprises 1440 pipes.
The reredos, which depicts the Last Supper, was erected to celebrate Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee in 1898.
The present altar was bought in 1934.
4. The East Windows (by Kempe)
There are three east windows, and they depict scenes from Jesus' life. They were designed and made in 1886 by Charles Kempe, one of the finest Victorian stained glass makers. Kempe's "signature", a shield depicting three wheat sheaves, can be seen at the bottom of the window on the north side of the altar. This window is in memory of Henry Boddington of Boddington's Brewery, honorary treasurer of the building fund which raised the money to build the church, and one of many local business and professional men to contribute generously to the building fund. The tops of the three windows contain some fine examples of heraldry.
5. The Side Chapel
This was laid out in memory of the Speakman family in 1951. Above the altar are statues of our patron saint St Andrew and his brother St Peter. It is now used for private prayer.
The entrance on Chadwick Road has been redesigned in recent years to allow disabled access.
7. The War Memorial
The war memorial commemorates the 151 men from this parish who died in World War I. To its right is a stained glass window which both depicts and commemorates Arthur Handley Clayton, who died at Loos in 1915.
8. The Angel Corbels
The angel corbels between the windows on the north and side aisles of the church are of individual design and include an angel holding a medal, the Khedive's Star, in memory of a soldier who died in the 1881 Egyptian Campaign. There is also an angel holding a baby in memory of a baby boy, and an angel with a wreath of daisies on her head in memory of a baby girl called Margaret. Other angels hold a variety of musical instruments. The last of the angel corbels on this side of the church portrays an angel holding a dead child, who is in turn clutching a toy Noah's ark. This corbel was bought by the children of the Sunday school to commemorate 183 children who died in an accident in "The Victoria Hall Disaster" in a theatre in Sunderland in 1883.
9. The West Window
This window was installed in 1916 in the middle of World War I. It shows eight Christian soldiers: St Martin, St Alban, Longinus, St Oswald, St Edwin, Constantine, St George, and St Edmund. This window also has some interesting examples of heraldry in its top section. It was made by Shrigley and Hunter of Preston, as were several other windows depicting standing Biblical figures in the church.
10. An Unusual Window
This window depicts the Old Testament story of Abraham's concubine Hagar and their son Ishmael, a story rarely depicted in Christian art. It was made by Alfred O. Hemming.
11. The Lounge Area
Created in 1983 by removing pews at the back of church, the lounge is used as a drop-in centre - "The Café in the Church" - on Fridays. It is also used for serving tea and coffee after Sunday morning services, and occasionally for 'coffee days' in aid of various charities.
The wood panelling along the west wall is inscribed with the Lord's Prayer, the Ten Commandments, and the Creed, and dates from the 1860s. It once formed the reredos behind the altar in St Mary the Virgin (Eccles Parish Church) in the town centre. Its replacement in 1883 by a pictorial reredos caused a massive theological controversy locally, and led to some of the congregation leaving St Mary's to set up an independent Anglican church on the site of Peel House car park.
12. The Children's Corner and Library
Children can play with a variety of toys whilst those caring for them enjoy refreshments in the café, and parents can also use these facilities to entertain children who become restless during services. The library has a wide selection of adult and children's Christian books and videos available for loan.
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