St John's Church, Blackpool
|St John's, Blackpool|
|Church of Saint John the Evangelist|
St John's Church, from Church Street
|OS grid reference||SD 3091 3628|
|Dedication||John the Evangelist|
|Consecrated||25 June 1878|
|Heritage designation||Grade II|
|Architect(s)||Garlick, Park and Sykes|
|Materials||Stone with slate roofs|
|Priest in charge||Dan Connolly|
The Church of Saint John the Evangelist or St John's Church is an Anglican church in Blackpool, Lancashire, England. It was completed in 1878 and is a Grade II listed building. A church was built on the site in 1821 and was replaced by the current building to accommodate a larger congregation. The church was designed by Garlick, Park and Sykes in the Early English style and has been restored and renovated in 1986 and from 2000–2006. St John's is an active parish church in the Diocese of Blackburn and the archdeaconry of Lancaster.
Until the early 19th century, there was no parish church in Blackpool and All Hallows Church at nearby Bispham was used for Blackpool's baptisms, marriages and burials. A church was built on the present site of the St John's in 1821. It was dedicated to John the Evangelist and consecrated on 6 July 1821 by George Law, the Bishop of Chester. The church was enlarged in 1832 and 1847; a chancel was added in 1851. St John's became a parish in 1860. In Porter's Guide to Blackpool, Fleetwood, Lytham, etc. of 1871, the church was described as "a plain brick edifice, with a low embattled tower, and destitute of any architectural beauty". The churchyard was closed to burials in 1873, when Layton Cemetery was completed, about 1.5 miles (2.4 km) away.
To cope with a growing congregation, it was decided to replace the church with a larger building. The smaller church of 1821 was demolished in 1877 and building of the new church commenced immediately. The foundation stone was laid by Blackpool's first mayor, Dr William Cocker, who had donated £1000 towards the cost of the construction. The building was completed in 1878. The new church was consecrated on 25 June 1878 by James Fraser, the Bishop of Manchester.
The present church was built in 1878 to a design by Garlick, Park and Sykes. It is constructed in the Early English style from yellow stone, with slate roofs and ashlar interiors. The tower is at the south west of the building and has four stages and angled buttresses which are topped with pinnacles and finials. On each wall of the tower are two tall Belfry louvres.
Recent history and present day
St John's was designated a Grade II listed building on 20 October 1983. The Grade II listing—the lowest of the three grades—is for buildings that are "nationally important and of special interest". After 100 years of use, the church was in need of repair and restoration work was carried out in 1986. Further renovation took place between 2000 and 2006 at a cost of £1.6 million. A community and conference centre were built, as well as a dedicated area for the homelessness charity Street Life. The priest in charge is the Rev. Dan Connolly and the curate is the Rev. Helen Hornby. The parish is within the diocese of Blackburn, which is within the ecclesiastical province of York. It is in the archdeaconry of Lancaster and the deanery of Blackpool.
- Rothwell (2002), p. 97
- "A Little History", Official website (St John's), retrieved 19 July 2010
- Porter (1876), p. 330
- Porter's Guide (1871), p. 25
- Farrer & Brownbill (1912), pp. 247–251
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- Blackpool Gazette (2007), pp. 16–17
- Pevsner (1969), p. 69
- "Church of St. John", National Heritage List for England (English Heritage), retrieved 26 May 2011
- "Listed Buildings", National Heritage List for England (English Heritage), retrieved 26 May 2011
- "Who's Who?", Official website (St John's), retrieved 19 July 2010
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- Pevsner, Nikolaus (1969). North Lancashire. London: Penguin. ISBN 0-300-09617-8.
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- Rothwell, Catherine (2002). Poulton, Thornton and Bispham. Stroud: Sutton Publishing. ISBN 0-7509-2952-9.