St Thomas' Church, Preston
|Preston Elim Pentecostal Church|
St Thomas' Church, Preston, from the northwest
|OS grid reference||SD 537 302|
|Location||Lancaster Road, Preston, Lancashire|
|Former name(s)||St Thomas' Church, Preston|
|Heritage designation||Grade II|
|Designated||27 September 1979|
|Pastor(s)||Revd Phil Woods|
|Parish administrator||V. M. Kay|
St Thomas' Church, Preston, is in Lancaster Road, Preston, Lancashire, England. It is a redundant Anglican parish church, later used as an Elim Pentecostal Church. The church is designated by English Heritage as a Grade II listed building.
The church was designed by John Latham and built between 1837 and 1839 at a cost of £4,500. When first built the church could seat about 1,100 people. It is recorded in 1869 that near the entrance to the church was a curtained pew that was occupied by Edward Hermon, the local Member of Parliament. The church was declared redundant on 1 November 1983. In May 1987 it was in "civic, cultural or community" use, and from 6 February 2001 it has been used for "worship by other Christian bodies". As of 2014 it is the Preston Elim Pentecostal Church.
St Thomas' is built in sandstone with slate roofs, and is mainly in Romanesque Revival (Norman) style; all the openings are round-headed. The church consists of a six-bay nave with a clerestory, north and south aisles, and a chancel with a five-sided apse, which is flanked by north and south vestries. Above the chancel is a three-stage tower with a window on each side of the middle stage and two-light bell openings in the top stage. Surmounting the tower is a broach spire. In the lower part of the west front is a window in a Norman-style surround flanked by windows in two tiers. Above this is a three-light window, and in the gable is a wheel window. There are doorways on each side of the church in the western bay of the aisles, the north doorway being gabled. The other bays along the sides of the aisles and the bays of the clerestory are divided by pilasters, and each contains a window. There is also a window in each side of the apse. Inside the church the arcades are carried on cylindrical piers. The interior of the church has been divided by the insertion of an upper floor.
The church was designated as a Grade II listed building on 27 September 1979. Grade II is the lowest of the three grades of listing and is applied to "buildings of national importance and special interest". Hartwell and Pevsner in the Buildings of England series state that the church "is indeed an odd creature", commenting that although it is mainly Norman in style, the broach spire is not a Norman feature, and that the site of the tower, and the polygonal apse, are not typical of the Norman style. A. Hewitson, writing in 1869, described the church as a "small, strong, hard-looking building".
- Hartwell, Clare; Pevsner, Nikolaus (2009) , Lancashire: North, The Buildings of England, New Haven and London: Yale University Press, pp. 537–538, ISBN 978-0-300-12667-9
- Hewitson, A. (1869), The Church of St Thomas in the Town of Preston, Our Churches and Chapels, Preston: Lancashire OnLine Parish Clerks, retrieved 10 May 2014
- Diocese of Blackburn: All Schemes (PDF), Church Commissioners/Statistics, Church of England, 1 October 2012, p. 5, retrieved 10 May 2014
- Preston Elim Pentecostal Church, searchchurch.co.uk, retrieved 10 May 2014
- English Heritage, "Former Church of St Thomas, Preston (1207296)", National Heritage List for England, retrieved 10 May 2014.
- Listed Buildings, English Heritage, retrieved 10 May 2014
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