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Weekly Edition - Published  12 December 2015


Local News Report - Mobile Page


Christmas funding boost for Emmanuel Church, Southport
Photograph by Huw Edwards.

THE Grade II Listed Emmanuel Church, Southport, Merseyside, is part of the Diocese of Liverpool, and has been selected as one of a total of 29 churches and chapels in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland to benefit from the latest grants from the National Churches, the UK Church epair and support charity.   Located on the main road heading north out of Southport, Emmanuel Church is still the largest building in the area, seating 1,300. It's hoped that by sharing part of the £390,000 funding payout from the National Churches Trust, this much loved, red brick Church will remain a major landmark for years to come.

The latest grant announcement concludes a year (2015) in which the UK's Church repair and support charity has awarded or recommended funding of £2.2 million to help 177 Churches, Chapels and meeting houses.

Top of the 2015 list of funding requests received by the charity include repairs to roofs, stonework and drainage and the provision of toilets, kitchens and disabled access and Emmanuel Church is no exemption to this.

Broadcaster and journalist Huw Edwards, Vice-President of the National Churches Trust said:- "I'm delighted that this Christmas the future of Emmanuel Church, Southport is being safeguarded by a National Churches Trust grant. This funding will help ensure that this vitally important church continues to serve local people for many years to come. At the heart of the nation's history and at the centre of local communities, churches and chapels are some of the UK's best loved local buildings. But their future is not guaranteed. So this Christmas, when people visit a church for a carol service or even just walk past a church on the way to do the Christmas shopping, I urge them to think about how they can help ensure that churches remain open and good repair for future generations. Everyone can make a contribution to the future of the UK's church and chapel buildings. That could be by helping to clear drains and gutters to help keeping churches watertight, volunteering to help out as a guide to show people the history and architecture of places of worship or keeping an eye out for vandals or thieves. Churches and chapels may be historic buildings, but they can be part of our future, too."

The £10,000 National Churches Trust Repair Grant has been give to help fund major roof repairs including re-slating all of the lower level roofs on the North side, including the chancel using re-claimed slates. Damaged timbers will be repaired/replaced and treated against further decay, within Emmanuel Church structure.

With a watertight building, the Church then plans to increase the numbers of activities, especially concerts and exhibitions and school visits. "Increased use of the building will allow the wider community to engage with the Church's history and architecture." said a representative from the Church.

Did you know?

The foundation stone, of Emmanuel Church, was laid in 1895, by the widow of Rev. Charles Hesketh who donated the site. The Church was then built to the design of architects Preston and Vaughan. Emmanuel Church was constructed using Ruabon Brick, along with sandstone dressings and a complex slated roof.

Emmanuel Church is built in the Gothic style with great attention to detail for such a large building, there are several well preserved gargoyles and these features repay careful examination. The most immediately obvious architectural features, however, are the impressive Crossing Tower and the unusual double gabled South Transept.

Many stained glass windows were added between 1898 (the East Window) and 1935. Most of these were given as memorials and are largely typical of their period. The 7 light, West Window (1899) is particularly good; this was restored in 2006.

The Tower, a 1901 addition, contains a ring of 8 bells, weighing 630kg, made by Taylors of Loughborough. With the exception of wartime, these bells have been rung regularly since their installation.

The organ (1914) is by renowned builder, Harrisons of Durham and retains its original specification albeit with electric action since its restoration in 2000.

The Church, being the largest in the area, is used for a wide range of larger public gatherings, in addition to worship such as:- concerts and exhibitions, local school events like concerts, educational visits and many other things.


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Southport Reporter (R) Bourder




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