Fleetwood Church, St Nicholas

 

Project Brief: To photograph the inside of all of the churches within Fleetwood and to supply a brief history.
Project Link: Fleetwood’s Churches

St Nicholas Church
Highbury Ave, Fleetwood, Lancashire, FY7 7DJ
01253 874402
www.stnicholaschurchfleetwood.webeden.co.uk

Visit Date: 1st August 2015
Permission to photograph the inside of the church was kindly granted by Fr Paul Benfield.

History
St Nicholas, Fleetwood may, at first glance, look very modern with its origami-like folds and massive brick arches. Yet, it is essentially a conservative building whose structure in many respects follows the traditions of the previous millennium. It is one of Fleetwood’s best buildings and deserves to be more widely known.

The church is the work of Laurence King (1907-1981), perhaps better known in Lancashire as the architect of the corona and spire of Blackburn Cathedral. The foundation stone was laid by Nicholas Meynell Esq. on 15th October 1960, when the site was hallowed by the Bishop of Blackburn.

St Nicholas mission in the parish of Fleetwood was founded in Wyre Street in 1908, meeting in the cottages in that street. Soon a modest mission church was built, but this was washed away in the floods of 1927. The present site was acquired and in the 1930’s an ambitious plan for a new church, school, vicarage and hall was drawn up. However, only the Broadway Rooms were built and worship continued in a ‘temporary’ wooden church (part of which survived up until August 2007 as a scout hut).

The foundation stone of the present church, designed by Laurence King, was laid in October 1960 and the site hallowed by Bishop Claxton, Bishop of Blackburn. It was intended to consecrate the church, but this could not happen because a substantial loan was secured by the building. Thus it was on the 27th April 1962 that Bishop Hoskyns-Abrahall, Bishop of Lancaster, dedicated the building for the worship of Almighty God.

The building was consecrated in 1987 when the church became the parish church of the new parish of St Nicholas, Fleetwood.

St Nicholas Church Fleetwood

St Nicholas Church Fleetwood

St Nicholas Church Fleetwood

St Nicholas Church Fleetwood

St Nicholas Church Fleetwood

St Nicholas Church Fleetwood

St Nicholas Church Fleetwood

St Nicholas Church Fleetwood

St Nicholas Church Fleetwood

St Nicholas Church Fleetwood

St Nicholas Church Fleetwood

St Nicholas Church Fleetwood

St Nicholas Church Fleetwood

St Nicholas Church Fleetwood

St Nicholas Church Fleetwood

St Nicholas Church Fleetwood

My thoughts
St Nicholas to me will always be special as I was married here in 2003 by Father Paul and my daughter was also christened in the church in 2006 by Father Paul.

I find the church unique with all the bare brick on show which is very different to all of the other churches in the town.

Every time I have been in the church I have never gone any further than the main altar but this time I was allowed full access which allowed me to go past the altar and into the ‘Lady Chapel’. This is when I realised just how big the church is in both length and height especially when looking up above the main altar.

Another unique and beautiful church within our town.

Finally I would like to say a big thank you to Father Paul for allowing me to photograph the church.

Thanks for reading,

Alan Duggan

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