Church of St Wilfrid, Standish

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Church of St Wilfrid, Standish
Church of St Wilfrid, Standish
Church of St Wilfrid, Standish is located in Greater Manchester
Church of St Wilfrid, Standish
Church of St Wilfrid, Standish
Location in Greater Manchester
Coordinates: 53°35′14″N 2°39′41″W / 53.5872°N 2.6614°W / 53.5872; -2.6614
OS grid reference SD 563,103
Location Market Place, Standish, Wigan, Greater Manchester
Country England
Denomination Anglican
Website St Wilfrid, Standish
Status Parish church
Functional status Active
Heritage designation Grade I
Designated 9 August 1966
Architect(s) L. Shipway (?)
Architectural type Church
Style Gothic and Renaissance
Parish Standish
Deanery Chorley
Archdeaconry Blackburn
Diocese Blackburn
Province York
Rector Canon Andrew Holliday
Curate(s) Revd Gillian Watson,
Revd Tim Brampton
Director of music John Walton GRNCM FLCM FRCO
Organist(s) Alan Banks LLCM
The Tudor ceiling

The Church of St Wilfrid is located in Market Place, Standish, Wigan, Greater Manchester, England. It is an active Anglican parish church in the Diocese of Blackburn. It is listed by English Heritage as a Grade I listed building.[1] The authors of the Buildings of England series describe it as "one of the most interesting churches in Lancashire".[2]


The church is first mentioned in 1205 but the vast extent of the ancient parish with its eleven townships (Adlington, Anderton, Charnock Richard, Coppull, Duxbury, Heath Charnock, Langtree, Shevington, Standish, Welch Whittle and Worthington) points to a very early foundation. The church is believed to have been constructed between 1582 and 1584 and designed by L. Shipway. It is in a blended Gothic and Renaissance style.[citation needed]

During the 20th century the Lancaster architects Austin and Paley carried out work on the church. In 1913–14 they added vestries at the east end of the church,[3] and in 1926 they built a gatehouse at the entrance to the churchyard.[3] The gatehouse is listed separately from the church at Grade II.[4] The architects also supervised minor additions and repairs to the church in 1932 and 1939.[5]



The tower is 19th-century Gothic, of grey-black ashlar. The prominent spire has an octagonal bell-stage. The remainder of the church is of yellow-black gritstone. The nave and chancel are Elizabethan, from 1582–84. Of the nave, Simon Jenkins, in England's Thousand Best Churches, writes: "The nave arches seem undecided between Gothic and classical. They have tentative columns of a Tuscan order, while the arches above are Gothic, a most strange 'transitional' form."[6]


Jenkins describes the church as having ".. the finest roof in Lancashire, worthy of Somerset's best. This is a Tudor work of panels and cross-braces covering nave, aisles and, most elaborate, the cancel. The vicar has studied the bosses and claims that no two are the same".[6] The pew ends in the Standish family chapel display the family crest of an owl with a rat.[6]

External features[edit]

The churchyard, which is divided into old and new sections, contains the war graves of four service personnel of World War I, and nine of World War II; most of the graves are in the new section.[7]

See also[edit]