The Parish Church of St. Mary,
St Mary's Church, Penwortham is located in Church Avenue, Penwortham, Lancashire, England. It is an active Anglican parish church in the deanery of Leyland, the archdeaconry of Blackburn, and the diocese of Blackburn. The church has been designated by English Heritage as a Grade II* listed building.
The oldest part of the church is the chancel which dates from the 14th century. The
west tower was built in the 15th century. The nave and aisles were rebuilt in 1855–56
by the Lancaster architect E. G. Paley. As part of the restoration the roof was raised,
and the north and west galleries were removed. Between 2009 and 2011 the church
was reordered, under-
St Mary's is constructed in stone and has a slate roof. Its plan consists of a four-
Inside the church, the arcades are carried on alternate round and octagonal piers. The memorial tablets include one to the cotton manufacturer and politician John Horrocks who died in 1804.There are fragments of early stained glass in the chancel windows. Before the reordering of 2009–11 there were box pews of 1855 in the church, those in the aisles being arranged to face the centre of the church, rather than to the east end.The organ is in the west gallery, and was installed there in 1959 by Jardines of Manchester. The ring consists of eight bells, all of which were cast in 1965 by Mears & Stainbank at the Whitechapel Bell Foundry.
In the churchyard are four structures that have been designated as Grade II listed buildings. One of these is a gravestone dated 1682, and another is a gravestone dated 1686. To the south of the church is a sundial dated 1815. John Horrocks has a second memorial, this being his tomb chest in the churchyard; it is also a memorial to other members of his family.
Some time ago it became obvious that major work needed to be carried out on the church
interior. The floors on the box pews on the side aisles were collapsing, water was
leaking under the floor from the heating system pipe work and the oil-
After much deliberation it was decided to replace the heating system with an under floor system and to remove pews and other furnishings. The whole floor of the nave and the chancel was to be on one level and the flooring was to be of stone.
Once the faculty had been approved work started in 2009. In order to install the
new heating system the floor had to be dug up and this was the start of our problems.
Excavation revealed a large number of skeletal remains which, under an agreement
between the Church of England and county councils required them to be investigated
by archaeologists. Moreover, the ground under the existing floor was weakened by
many collapsed graves which meant that we had to revise our plans for the sub-
During the re-
Although the re-
Recently, we hosted a choral evening performed by the Preston Orpheus Choir which was very successful. The improved acoustics in the church were approved by the choir and this gives us hope that other similar events will be forthcoming.
Following the re-
Chris our Vicar was interviewed by Joe Wilson of BBC Radio Lancashire in September 2011 and a summary of that interview can be found here.
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